National Work Life Week at Humankind

Jack Keery

Supporting our people to have a good work-life balance is a priority at Humankind. We want to make sure that everyone is able to lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives, and we understand that a good work-life balance plays a key part in this.

For National Work Life Week 2021, we asked our staff: “what does work-life balance mean to you?”

The answers we received were diverse and many contained helpful tips for others on finding the right balance between work and leisure time, so we wanted to share them.

“For me, work-life balance is being able to give it my all at work, but then being able to disconnect and still have the time and energy to spend time with my family and friends, cook nice meals and take my dogs out for long walks.”
– Kerry Kirsopp, People Experience Manager

“Work-life balance to me is the ability to have the positive coping mechanisms outside of the working environment. The ability to engage in seeing friends, family, attending the gym, meditating, attending sport, playing my instruments. Although ultimate life is life the application of having time to do things you enjoy is very important, have a balance to me is the essence of that.”
Craig McMullen, BRiC Worker, South Tyneside Adult Recovery Service

“Work-life balance is being able to find the balance between work and family/leisure activities that is suitable to my current circumstances.”
– Colin Grainger, Support Coordinator

“Work-life balance for me is the ability to switch off work mode at the end of the working day and turn on home mode. As I am currently WFH, I feel it’s really important to put away all my work “stuff” when not working so the two don’t blur.”
– Mim Arbia, Regional Trainer, Learning & Development Team.

“Work-life balance for me is about focusing on time for myself and my wellbeing both inside and outside the work environment. This involves starting the day with a mindfulness audio, taking lunch breaks outside the building and mindful breathing when needed when I am at work. Outside work I spend time in the garden, take regular exercise, go for walks, and see friends and family.”
– Sara Langstaff, Recovery Coordinator, North Yorkshire Horizons

“Now more than ever, its vitally important to strike a good work life balance and I achieve this by working a 4 day week. I’m really grateful to Humankind for allowing me this flexibility as it enables me to spend precious time with my two boys”
– Manish Nanda, Executive Director, London & South

“Work-life balance to me is to have an interest outside work. I like walking my greyhound and do sea swims as well as pilates.”
– Francisca Veale, EDP

“I think it’s important to have a supportive and understanding employer that accepts and works with the ‘whole me’ and not just the ’employee me’. My ideal work-life balance is being able to switch off at the end of the working day whilst remaining flexible to personal and professional need.”
– Ann Hall, Volunteer Development Manager

“To me, work-life balance means having enough separation between work life and personal life in order to maintain my wellbeing, with an acceptance that we all have different circumstances and may need some flexibility to balance the two in a positive and healthy way.”
– Chantal Renn, Volunteer Coordinator

“I maintain a good work life balance by working a 4 day week.  Humankind agreed to this from my first day in my role, and this allows me to have 4 days focusing on being a People Director for the organisation, and 1 day a week where I can focus on my two girls and home life without worrying about work!”
Kathryn Summerfield, Director of People

So how exactly do we support our staff’s work-life balance?

We have many things in place to support wellbeing and to ensure our workforce are able to maintain a good work life balance:

Work Life Balance Policy – ensuring our employees are able to have meaningful discussions with their line manager about ways to work more flexibly to support a good work life balance and everyone can do this from their first day of employment with us.

Annual Leave Entitlement – we have a very generous annual leave entitlement – 27 days, increasing to 32 days after the first year of service.  We understand the importance of time off, whether this is to recharge your batteries or spend time doing things you love.

Annual Leave Purchase Scheme – we also offer the option to purchase an additional 5 days leave each year.

Happy Healthy You! – we have a very comprehensive wellbeing offer, which we call Happy Healthy You! This is full of information, support, guidance and campaigns to ensure that your health and wellbeing is prioritised and supported to lead happier, healthier lives.

Supportive Culture – we encourage people to have open and honest conversations about how they are feeling and to access the support that is available to them.

Talk to you – we actively seek feedback from our workforce about what works for them, and what else we can do as an employer to support work life balance and wellbeing.

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