Exhibition News May 2019 - Page 53

Company Culture Time for a change Richard Dodgson, founder & creative director of Timebased Events, on why the event industry is perfectly fit for the four-day week F “A four-day working week does not mean that a company simply ceases operations on a Friday” or any industry, employee wellbeing should be firmly integrated into a company’s culture. The traditional nine-to-five, five-day working week has remained firmly in place since the Industrial Revolution and it’s time that businesses modernise in line with the changing demands of life. Some companies have implemented a four-day week and it’s starting to gain popularity, with a recent survey revealing that 71 per cent believe the nation would be happier with a four-day week. At Timebased, we offer an Alternative Hours Scheme, which gives employees the flexibility to take a four-day week while making sure that the office is still manned five days a week. The implementation of a four-day working week has had profoundly positive effects. It’s very easy to work long hours in the events industry, and this can have negative ramifications for mental and physical health. To combat any personal strain, it’s imperative for everybody to establish a good work-life balance and as an employer it’s our responsibility to encourage this and be creative in our approach to retain happy, healthy staff. By giving our employees the opportunity to come to work refreshed, there has been a noticeably positive impact on their morale. This high morale has been reflected in the events that we produce and in turn has brought in more business for the company. The extra day allows our staff to spend quality time with family and friends, to learn new hobbies, to enjoy what the UK has to offer, or to simply relax and rejuvenate. Meaning they return to work well-rested with improved efficiency and focus, working at an optimal pace. Benefits such as these are often valued over a higher salary and as a result a company may find it has a higher retention of staff who are loyal to the company with increased levels of job satisfaction. It’s also important to get staff out of the office environment. We have staff ‘away days’ which can be used as an opportunity for both training and team bonding; this year, we took our team to Malaga for four activity-packed days. A team who trust and respect each other is far more likely to achieve good results than one that doesn’t know each other. By implementing these strategies we have been able to ensure employees’ wellbeing is our top priority and we have created a company culture that we are proud of. It must be noted that a four-day working week does not mean that a company simply ceases operations on a Friday. Instead, it’s about increasing productivity and giving employees the chance to get all their work done in four days, instead of five. Some businesses have implemented a shift system where employees have rotating days off each week in return for increased working hours. This means that their customers benefit from longer opening hours as well as the office being open for the traditional five days. Ultimately, it’s about understanding how you can truly optimise your workforce. Supporting your workforce to make them happier, more creative and motivated is achieved through listening to them and providing opportunities to improve their personal well- being. The events industry can be a straining and high-pressured environment for employees and so offering a four-day week can make a world of difference. May — 53