3 Policies You Can Introduce for a Happy Workplace in 2018

It’s officially creeping up to the end of January and you better believe that the novelty of “new year, new me” is well and truly starting to wear off. By now, I’m sure diets are starting to dwindle, dry January has let a little drizzle in and you’ve hit the snooze button for the 6th time this morning after you swore getting in that early morning gym session was a top priority for 2018. As a result, I’d say those January blues have started to set in. So why not lift the mood with these 3 policies you can introduce to get the mood back on track for a happier workplace in 2018?

1. Wellness Programme

It is not uncommon for many employees to sacrifice their health for their job. Employees often skip lunch, work long hours, and leave little room for exercise. Many companies are now wise to the fact that having employees in good physical and mental health produces better work and a happier team. There are many programmes that can be introduced; from stress relief programmes to social and team building ones.

Why not try introducing some lunchtime yoga? A study by the Occupational Medicine Journal (2012) showed that yoga has been proven to significantly reduce back pain and also increase employees concentration and reduce stress levels. It has also been proven to reduce hostility, and increase morale and communication skills among employees.

2. Remote Days

The nature of technology these days means that working remotely is much easier for today’s busy breadwinner, which can have multiple benefits for the employer and employee alike.

Sometimes, finding space for your team can be a struggle, especially if you’re at that awkward growth stage of a company, or indeed if you’re in the middle of renovations or moving premises. Allowing people to work from home one or two days a week can help lift some of the pressure and avoid another tense round of musical chairs.

For employees, working from home can greatly improve work/life balance which leads to a happier workplace. Long commutes can be cut out, as can fees for possible child care and maybe even the cost of dry cleaning that power suit for another day. At National Equity Fund in the U.S., 91 of their 176 employees work from home 2 – 3 days per week and since then, productivity has shot up a whopping 50% !

Try it on a trial basis at first and start by allowing people to work from home once a month or fortnight, or have a certain amount of days per quarter/month where people can opt-in.

3. Paid Paternity Leave

There are many benefits to fathers taking paternity leave. It shows that they are more inclined to undertake a more active role in childcare tasks and their early interaction has shown long-term benefits for their learning abilities. But since the offer of paternity leave officially became mandatory in Ireland in 2016, only one in four fathers are actually taking it, which could have something to do with the employer.

Employers are not obliged to pay wages for the two weeks paternity leave, with the state offering €230 for the two weeks instead. Many feel the money simply isn’t worth it, with some equating it to essentially “taking a pay cut for two weeks”.

Offering paid paternity leave can substantially improve the perception of a company in the employees’ eyes, especially to those who are at a family planning stage in their lives and are looking to make sure their company is a good fit. We are living in a time where there’s a war on talent and anything you can do to help boost your employer brand is vital.

Scottish beer company Brew Dog recently even introduced Puppy leave, which entitles their employees to take a weeks paid “Paw-ternity” leave if they get a new puppy or rescue dog. It may seem ridiculous to some, but according to their comments on Glassdoor (and their 4.5 stars), their paternity leave is enhanced and above statutory.

So there you have it; 3 policies you can introduce to lift the mood this dreary January and guarantee you some happy employees. Incorporating even one of these policies will help kick start the year on a great note, nab you a few extra stars on your Glassdoor account and boost your Employer Brand in the process.

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