A New Working Era at LEP
At LEP, we’re going somewhat against the grain in our industry. With many practices beginning to migrate back to office working as the pandemic eases, LEP has – off the back of the success of our Covid-imposed remote working – decided to encourage staff to maintain and embrace a flexible working approach moving forward.
Well, we believe that maintaining our staff’s wellbeing and encouraging a healthy work/life balance will create a happier team. And a happier and healthier team means a more productive and engaged workforce, and ultimately a more successful Partnership!
How will it work?
Essentially, our new working ethos is based on the simple concept that ‘work is a thing we do, not a place we go’.
Moving forward, we are giving our team the choice of where they wish to work, depending on where they feel they will be most productive each day. We still have our studio bases in both Canterbury and London, but staff will be able to work from any location they wish – be that their homes, the local coffee shop, or even abroad, should they wish.
We are extremely fortunate to have an outstanding in-house IT crew who are constantly on hand to ensure all remote workers can connect to our systems and work seamlessly from any location with no impact on output and performance, and we’d like to publicly thank them for their hard work to help us achieve our goals throughout such a tough period – well done Team!
What does this mean for our Clients?
Our office locations haven’t changed – and we’re currently investing in a programme of refurbishment works to create a more welcoming and inclusive work environment! Meetings can still be organised in our studios if needed, but more and more people have now embraced the advantages of virtual meetings, and so naturally we expect many of our future meetings to be via this medium. Flexibility is the key to our new working approach, and so LEP will try to accommodate whatever suits our clients best – just let us know what works well for you!
What else is new?
Staff wellbeing has always been important to the Partnership, and the effects of the pandemic have highlighted just how important taking care of our team (and ourselves) is.
Alongside offering our staff a ‘work from anywhere’ ethos, we’re doing a few other things to support and assist them in achieving the best work/life balance we can offer…
Flexi-time: All staff are now afforded flexi-time. Not a new concept, but combined with our other wellbeing initiatives we hope that our staff will benefit from the flexibility of juggling their working hours with other important things in their life, be that an hour for that yoga class you’ve been meaning to join, picking the children up from school, or having an extended lunchbreak to catch-up with an old friend.
Our staff know what is expected of them, and we fully trust each and every one of them to hit deadlines and fulfil their job roles. So why would we not trust them to arrange their working week which best suits their lives?
Taking time off: At LEP we have always offered great holiday entitlement together with a well-earned rest over the Christmas period. We actively encourage all staff to ensure they take their full holiday entitlement within the year for the simple reason – we want our staff as rested and happy as possible. We’re also flexible on things like doctors and other necessary appointments – all helping to build towards staff wellbeing.
Wellbeing Days: We all have those times when we perhaps don’t feel at our best and need to take some ‘me’ time. We want to discourage staff feeling that this is a problem, or something that needs to be hidden from their employer. Wellbeing Days are now offered – no questions asked. Staff are encouraged not to book a day off sick or to take their much-needed holiday allocation for those days when they’re finding things are getting a bit ‘much’: we’d rather encourage a Wellbeing Day and offer all the support we can to help them through any difficult patches.
Wellbeing Café initiative: Remote working left many feeling isolated from colleagues. Almost a year ago in the midst of the pandemic we opened our virtual ‘LEP Café’ – a space where staff can come together weekly for a social chat. Up to that point, most virtual conversations between colleagues were tending to be purely work based, with no real social interaction. Introducing a regular social space meant that staff could still have those workplace ‘water cooler’ moments, which are highly productive in terms of staff engagement and teambuilding in their own right! With the pandemic restrictions slowly lifting, we are hoping to introduce a hybrid remote/in-person café in our refurbished office space, providing even more flexibility for staff, and further supporting social interaction and wellbeing.
The Covid Pandemic has been unprecedented for modern business, and recovering from such will certainly be a trial and error exercise for all businesses. We hope that as friends of LEP you will appreciate the flexibility we are offering our team moving forward to help ensure their wellbeing and encourage a healthy work/life balance.
If you have any queries about the way we’ll be working moving forward, please get in touch! We’re happy to be open and transparent about our plans.