The Typeface Group is a marketing and PR organisation based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, with eight employees. As a small, but growing, employer, it strives to place the emotional wellbeing of staff at the heart of its benefits strategy, in large part this through its approach to flexible working.
Natalie Weaving, director at The Typeface Group, explains: “Flexible working shapes everything that we do. That doesn’t just mean being able to do the school run every day, although that also plays a large factor. Our team members are allowed personal days whenever they are required. No pretending to have a cold if someone just needs some time to themselves for whatever reason.”
Compassionate leave, which has been part of The Typeface Group’s ethos since its creation, is based on necessity rather than a set number of days dictated by the HR policy. Employees can take as much leave as they require for sickness or a death in the family, for example, returning to work when they are happy or able to.
In addition, the nine-to-five working day is adjusted whenever someone needs to attend a doctor’s appointment, a counselling session or a school event. Working from home is always an option too, if required.
This attitude to flexibility goes back to the very beginning of the organisation, when it was founded by managing director Polly Buckland while she was on maternity leave with her first child.
“[Buckland] needed a role that would fit around her new commitments as a parent,” explains Weaving. “[We] have busy lives outside of the office for a variety of positive and, sadly, some negative reasons. So, we wanted to be able to practise what we preach, look after our own emotional wellbeing and ensure we provide the same support, security and stability for our valued team members.”
Weaving believes this commitment to flexibility not only contributes to the emotional wellbeing of employees, but also makes them feel valued, which translates into good business results and a high retention rate.
She says: “[The staff] know they are in a fortunate position with this unique approach to flexible working. They work hard, they produce the results that the [organisation] needs and they are loyal to the [business], as well as to us as their managers. We have a strong staff retention rate, which helps us [provide] continuity [for] our clients, and a strong team mentality, as close working relationships are formed over time.”
Along with flexible working, The Typeface Group employees have life and health insurance, provided by Vitality, which, according to Weaving, encourages employees to live active lives in order to receive rewards such as discounted cinema tickets or coffees.
Weaving concludes: “Emotional wellbeing in the workplace is vital, and having procedures in place to ensure life inside and outside of the office are both positive experiences makes a huge amount of difference to the performance of our business.”