Richard Cobb, Communications & Employee Engagement Manager
Last month in the UK, we celebrated National Work Life Week, an annual opportunity for both employers and employees to focus on wellbeing at work and work/life balance.
It’s an important issue as, for half of parents and carers, work affects their ability to spend time together as a family often or all of the time.
Indeed, more than a quarter of parents (29%) feel their wellbeing is poor most or all of the time.
Conversely, some 86% of parents in the UK want to work flexibly – but currently under one in five jobs advertised gives this.
At SYKES, we’re proud of our track record in many areas of flexible and home working.
For us, the important thing is that they’re productive and motivated, working the hours that best suits them.
We’ve also championed training in work/life balance, giving our younger staff strategies for achieving life goals and objectives away from work.
There’s more than enough evidence that this approach works. It gives our young agents the confidence to achieve more in their personal lives, and bring that confidence and motivation into the workplace.
This flexible working journey at SYKES has been facilitated, partly, by new communication technologies.
Until relatively recently, the technology to remotely train an agent working from home, and to monitor their activity for quality control purposes, simply wasn’t adequate.
But now, we’re happy to push for more flexible working and home working. It’s what people today want, and at SYKES we’re able to offer it to them.
We also try to bring in a bit of fun to the workplace and, therefore, to encourage a social side to the business. This helps create friendships that bridge both professional and personal life.
For example, later this month we’ll be having a Winter Activities day which sees a multitude of events offering a variety of fun activities which cater to staff both in the office and Work At Home environment.
Later in the year, we’ll be hosting a Winter Fair to which the gifted crafters on our staff can bring in what they’ve made – and sell them.
In the summer we have a Funfair, with free lunch for staff. Every Friday, free fruit is given to every department.
We have a professional valet service that regularly comes to our Edinburgh site to clean staff cars at a discounted price. Or, if hair needs cutting, there is a regular on-site barber’s shop.
We bake cakes to support cancer care, award Unsung Hero awards, organise photography and poetry competitions (with prizes), and give all staff a range of discounts on social activities such as restaurants and cinemas.
We even had a Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day earlier this year. This invited staff to submit images/videos of their pets with the overall winner being crowned Pet of the Year at SYKES Crufts.
But food, treats and clothing were also collected thanks to kind donations on the day, and which went to the local SSPCA.
We believe that the world of work is to be enjoyed and that a happy employee makes a better employee, and a more effective advocate for our clients’ customers.
It’s a business approach that is designed to meet different needs for flexible or home working and, for those who work from our centre, a fun and caring environment in which to grow as people, at work and away from it.
For more information on SYKES Work At Home, please get in touch!