Global insights, information and credit reference agency TransUnion is allowing its 700 UK members of staff to take off Friday afternoons to focus on their personal development and wellbeing.
Dubbed Flexible Fridays, the initiative has been launched in recognition of the impact the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has had on employees. Under the scheme, every Friday afternoon in July and August staff will be free to stop work and take time for themselves, whether for their own development, a pet project or simply to have a break.
This latest initiative is part of a package of measures introduced by TransUnion during the pandemic to support staff’s physical, mental and financial fitness. The organisation said that the addition of Flexible Fridays is intended to give people the opportunity to focus on their own needs and help them to recharge, with diaries cleared and no meetings booked in.
Tammy Taylor-Stowe, TransUnion’s UK chief human resources officer, explained that the business is supporting its workers with the tools and information to focus on their wellbeing, but understands that it is vital to have some dedicated time set aside for this.
“We’ve provided all colleagues with access to the Headspace app for meditation and mindfulness, which have been shown to reduce stress, and that’s something they can explore in their Friday afternoon sessions. Alternatively, some will want to use the time for their own development and that can be re-energising and help people to think about their career goals and how to progress those,” she said.
In addition, TransUnion has also given employees two company days off in 2021 in recognition of what it describes as a “huge effort to go above and beyond that has been seen across the business throughout the pandemic”. It has also encouraged dedicated time away from keyboard to ensure employees take a break from their laptops each day.
The success of moving colleagues to remote working earlier in the pandemic has prompted TransUnion to plan to offer longer-term increased flexibility, with the majority of staff planning to move to a hybrid model once restrictions are lifted.
The organisation has recently introduced a ‘flex together’ approach, which aims to give staff greater ownership and control of their own time and working hours, enabling them to manage their responsibilities out of work.