Health and wellbeing at the heart of office expansion
We are passionate about the wellbeing of our people because, quite simply, we know that if our teams are happy and have a great experience working in our office this is likely to be reflected in the service they provide to our clients.
Ros Kirk, Head of People Strategy and Development, provided details on how promoting wellbeing in the workplace was at the centre of our recent office expansion.
“Over the last eleven years we have seen significant growth across all areas of the Group, with our headcount having doubled in the last three years alone. Earlier this year we commenced the expansion of our premises located at St James Street, Taunton and this presented us with a fantastic opportunity to reflect the importance we place on the health and wellbeing of our people.
We sought to understand the needs of our people and how we can enhance their working lives. That drove us to introduce the following facilities to our newly extended office:
- Improved client facilities
- A fully equipped gym with shower and changing facilities
- A new boardroom and breakout area with interactive presentation screens
- A servery/kitchen
- A large client meeting room
- A large staff room with TV, increased seating areas and table tennis table
With several former sports professionals, and a workforce who have a great attitude to health generally, the gym has proved to be a big hit! The link between physical and mental wellbeing is both well established and supported by the Group. The new staff room has become the heart of the office, providing a space for people to relax, enjoy the fresh fruit provided on a daily basis, and hone their table tennis skills. The new areas have proved to be very popular, giving everyone across the Group the opportunity to get to know one another better and form brilliant working relationships.
Other initiatives well received by our people are the ability to take lifestyle time each month and also their birthday off – in addition to their annual holiday allowance – as we understand people need time to balance their home and work lives. This means our people can spend time doing things important to them in our time, or simply sorting out life admin which needs attention.
We are delighted with our new office environment and how this supports a positive workplace culture, which we believe is vital in retaining and attracting the very best people to service our clients. We already enjoy a very low absence rate of 0.2% across the Group, which is demonstrative of the environment and support we provide individuals throughout their careers with us.
However, we are fully aware that in order to maintain this level of job satisfaction, and therefore impressive client service, this is something we need to continually evolve; there is an ongoing importance placed on listening to and understanding our people needs.”