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Work life week - Flexibility during a pandemic

The week commencing 12th October marks National Work Life Week, an awareness week encouraging both employers and employees to talk about wellbeing at work and work-life fit. 

Hewett Recruitment have used the awareness week to showcase our flexible working policies and practices, focussing on the flexibility offered to staff during the COVID-19 outbreak and duration of the pandemic.

Laura Hewett, Hewett Recruitment Director commented:

"In recent years we have offered more and more flexibility, offering mobile phones and laptops as well as flexible working hours… but we've always struggled with uptake until it was imposed on everyone earlier this year! I think there has always been a concern from the team that somehow working flexibly or remotely could be perceived as a lack of commitment. 

I have always been a strong believer in measuring outputs rather than presenteeism. In fact I would prefer employees to work hours that suit them and be able to flex their work around their busy lives. There are great benefits to be had in terms of commitment, productivity and general wellbeing. There is a balance though as I love the buzz of a busy office - that energy is infectious – something that is difficult to replicate without physically being together. Also, for on-the-job training, it can be so useful to overhear telephone conversations and be able to coach there and then.

I think a happy medium is probably the ideal solution – dedicated time as a team in the office, with the autonomy to decide when and where to work outside of that."

We asked our staff for feedback on their experience over the last few months, focussing on the flexibility Hewett Recruitment Directors have offered the team during the pandemic, catering to individual requirements and situations.

Luke, IT Recruitment Consultant has found the flexibility to work from home beneficial for his work-life balance and minimised the stress associated with COVID-19. He said:

“I can’t thank Hewett’s enough for their commitment to employee welfare during these crazy times by offering such flexible working options. For me, it has made my life so much easier having the freedom to choose to work remotely or in office dependent on my needs. To have that choice has meant that I have been able to manage my work-life balance effectively and minimise stress during the pandemic. Not only do Hewett’s offer great flexible working options, but they go out of their way to make sure that your home working is as comfortable as it can be for you by providing all the equipment you need and if I want to chat to anybody about anything support is only ever a quick phone call away.”

Kate, Senior Commercial Consultant, who recently broke her leg during the lockdown, added:

"Flexible is not how I would describe my right ankle after I managed to break it at the end of June! Luckily for me though, Hewett’s have been just the opposite and have afforded me the freedom and flexibility to return to work and choose whether I come into the office or work from home. The balance of both has been great!”

Offering another point of view, Verity discusses her requirement to shield, and how that affected her working routine:

"After being advised to 'shield' for 12 weeks back in April, Hewett's have been beyond understanding and flexible. I felt very supported throughout the 12 weeks, and the Directors have continued to be more than accommodating since, encouraging me to work from wherever I feel most comfortable, be it from home or in an isolated office area.”