‘To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilisation’ Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
This week is National Work Life Week 2022 which takes place this year from 10 – 14 October with the aim of raising awareness of flexible working.
At Intelligent Health, the team is currently trying out a pilot scheme where full-time employees are invited to work 75 hours per fortnight in a more flexible pattern.
Options include working a nine-day fortnight – instead of working 7 hours and 30 minutes per day, you could work 8 hours and 20 minutes per day to afford an extra day off or staff are able to work 75 hours per fortnight in nine and a half days.
This has enabled staff to perhaps enjoy a Friday off where they can do something different. Penny from the central engagement team used her Friday to go rock climbing in Yorkshire after a morning spent at work responding to player enquiries; and other staff members have used their time for a wide range of activities.
Libby from the central engagement team runs a BMX business and crate-digger Theo spent an afternoon with his brother browsing record stores in Amsterdam!
Data analyst Steve is studying for a Data Science Masters at Loughborough University and is co-director at the Community Data Co-op, a not-for-profit organisation that is aiming to help communities use their data for good. Somehow he also finds time to write and play music and has recently released his first album under the name “Mottled Shades “(https://open.spotify.com/artist/4YT5vW8tBrTQMV6j9McRuz?si=bR7gQPyUR3KRgO8hSs7PKg) or https://mottledshades.bandcamp.com/.
Katherine Knight, Intelligent Health’s marketing director added: “So far I’ve used the extra time in a few ways; mundane jobs, spending time with family and leisure – I love woodwork and spent a very happy afternoon rustling up a lean-to for our new chickens and their food. Flexitime means happy chickens!
“I really believe we need to help people live well and that includes managing work and life balance. I enjoyed reading Rutger Bregman’s Utopia for Realists recently with the argument that leisure is vital and we need to prioritise it for our wellbeing.
“This means giving permission to people to take time out and invest in themselves. However, in reality, it feels strange to walk away from your computer in the middle of the day and relax -in fact, for me, it takes a bit of energy and practice!
“I’ve realised I am very task focused – even relaxing! – but believe that the permission we are giving our whole team to try it will help normalise this and move to a healthier life. The trial runs until December and we will be evaluating whether it has helped our team with their mental and physical health.”