How businesses are helping people back into work – part 1

As HR teams prepare for the long months ahead – facing redundancies, blended working, end of furlough and a turbulent job market – we highlight some of the brilliant initiatives helping employees get back on track.

Health and wellbeing

Yorkshire Housing

Quick to respond to the government’s guidance on working from home where possible, not-for-profit home management company Yorkshire Housing recently launched a home office catalogue for employees.

The catalogue allows employees to order whatever they need to help them through an extended period of working from home. Objects include folding desks, ergonomic seating, monitor holders and SAD (seasonal affective disorder) lights.

Nina Evison, head of people at Yorkshire Housing, said that the company has had great feedback from employees on the catalogue so far. “We immediately moved to home working for office-based colleagues when COVID-19 hit.

"We anticipated this would be for an extended period so wanted to ensure that colleagues had the right equipment and support to see them through the potentially difficult winter ahead. This isn’t normal remote-working, it’s working from home during a pandemic. The extra strain this puts on people makes it vital that employers prioritise wellbeing.”

Zurich UK

Zurich UK'’s employee survey found two in three employees (59%) would like to work from home for more than half of the working week after lockdown, and a third of these employees would only want to attend the office one day a week. This is compared to the opposite situation pre-lockdown in which 35% of the company’s flexible workers stayed at home one or two days each week.

In response, the company has now changed its policy to adapt to the way employees want to continue working. Included in the policy is the new option to be fully flexible, giving employees the choice of working from any one of the company’s six major UK sites if they want to, or to spend their week at home.

Commenting on the move, HR director Steve Collinson said that the new persona was created to give valuable time back to employees.

“Just by giving employees the chance to work from home one day a week for example, we would save them thousands of hours commuting that could be spent exercising, meditating, having breakfast with their families or simply catching up on home admin. […] This time could improve the quality of their lives immeasurably - in return we get a far happier and more productive employee. It’s a win-win as far as we’re concerned.”


Green & Fortune

Hospitality company Green & Fortune has launched a scheme to provide support and guidance for staff members made redundant as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Over one third of the company’s workforce lost their jobs due to premises closing. Through the new scheme, each one of them will be assigned a mentor from within the company, offered monthly training session and given CV guidance to help them secure a new job. Access to an emergency cash fund will also be granted to for staff in need.

Green & Fortune CEO John Nugent said: “This is something we see as a unique response to a challenging time. Even though there is still much uncertainty in our industry, this initiative is a positive focus for our team.

The full piece of the above appears in the September/October 2020 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk.

More positive news:

How businesses are helping employees back into work

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