A FAMILY-RUN organisation specialising in professional and personal wellbeing is urging businesses to review their benefits packages to ensure they support employees in combatting the stresses related to home working.
Research has revealed that a quarter of UK businesses are concerned about retaining employees after COVID-19. YouGov research also found that 57% of British workers want to be able to continue to work from home.
Peter Heath, co-founder of A Centre of Light, which is based in Bridgwater, said: “Working from home is definitely here to stay.
“Research from the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that employers expect the number of people working from home regularly, post COVID, will increase to 37%, compared to 18% previously. This means that the benefits packages that many businesses currently offer their employees, are no longer totally suitable.
“Many currently offer benefits such as pensions or healthcare, but they need to be brought up-to-date to work in these current times and to recognise the changing dynamic that home working brings. They now need to be modified to include flexible working and the provision of tools for employees to do their jobs effectively from home.”
A Centre of Light suggests employee benefits include:
- Adequate home office equipment, including desks chairs, computer, scanning/printing equipment and for this to be updated with the latest virus protection.
- A package to help with utility expenses, including offering a yearly fixed rate contribution for home usage such as heating, water and electricity.
- Flexible working hours to allow for employees to pick up and drop off children at schools and nurseries as well as attending appointments and any other family commitments.
- Access to independent wellbeing support such as its De-stress Energy Programme.
Peter Heath added: “We would urge businesses to ensure that their packages come with wellbeing support to ensure that workers are coping well at home. We are happy to work with businesses to offer their employees access to our De-stress Energy Programme, which is one of the key services we provide.
“The De-stress Energy Programme enables A Centre of Light to work with companies, providing programme modules for managers and employees.
“Our Foundation Package focuses on a businesses’ employee’s lives in general. When your staff struggle with significant personal difficulties, it can have adverse impacts on their wellbeing, which has a knock-on effect to their productivity at work.
“The Mentor Package is geared towards Line Managers managing a team, which takes account of the stress and responsibility of the position, including how best to understand their team and provide sensitive support.
“Modules are a mixture of pre-recorded webinars, interactive online workshops, assessment and certificate. These include CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) coping techniques with an analytical approach to problem solving, combined with a holistic systemic view – accessing those parts of yourself that are usually difficult to reach.
“A Centre of Light promotes values that support and encourage specialised education, growth and development, including psychic advice on business matters, careers and relationships.
“We are seeing a rapid change in workplace culture in the aftermath of the lockdown in favour of a greater emphasis on mental health and emotional wellbeing. This is something employees are requesting, and employers are positively adopting, as a more caring work-life relationship develops.
“We act as a sounding board for people and listen to their concerns, as well as helping them to move forward positively with our expert guidance.
“We can help people achieve resilience, our steps and guideposts can prove invaluable on your journey, giving you direction and purpose whether in your work or personal life, and this is why our company strapline is: Business with a Heart®.”