Leeds, London and New York-based digital marketing agency Search Laboratory has introduced an enhanced flexible working policy in a bid to support and improve the wellbeing and mental health of its 150 employees.
The new policy was announced during the organisation’s wellbeing week, which ran from 4 November to 8 November 2019, and became effective on 11 November. All staff are now able to take advantage of flexible start and finish times, as well as take a lunch of up to two hours, between 12pm and 2pm. Employees may now start when they choose, between 7.30am and 10am, and finish between 4pm and 7.30pm.
Twice a month, staff will also be able to adjust their hours to finish at 3pm, provided the remaining hours are worked at some point during the same week.
Previously, Search Laboratory allowed all employees to start late or finish early for two days per month, while individuals could request changes to their working hours on a case-by-case basis.
The introduction of the new policy was announced on Stress Awareness Day (6 November 2019) via a presentation to the Leeds office. This was followed by a survey to gather employee feedback, and an official launch email that included the results of the survey.
Search Laboratory’s wellbeing week also included external speakers coming into the Leeds office to discuss resilience and nutrition. The week aimed to help employees understand the importance of looking after mind and body.
Other initiatives that the employer offers to help staff cope with stress and remain healthy include mental health first aid training, mindfulness sessions, free private counselling, health seminars, free gym membership and an employee assistance programme (EAP).
Renae Shaw, head of HR at Search Laboratory, said: “Our approach to workplace wellbeing is to do everything we can to help employees stay feeling well, happy and motivated at work. We all know how difficult it can be trying to juggle home with work, but we hope by having greater flexibility staff will have a better commute, better balance in their lives, and work when it suits them best and when energy levels are at their highest.
“It was also really important to us that we can still get what we need from each other internally, and in particular that our team in New York can still work well with the UK. We wanted the rules to be simple and flexible, whilst still ensuring we have enough time in the office to collaborate together and deliver great work for our clients.”