breatheHR encourages small businesses to slow down
We are thrilled to welcome breatheHR onto the Snailway as sponsors. The local HR software providers were particularly drawn to the campaign as the central message of #BeMoreSnail fits so well with one of their key philosophies. Their CEO, Jonathan Richards, has written a blog piece to explain why slowing down may actually lead to greater productivity in the long-term.
Recent research from breatheHR, the HR software provider, has revealed that poor company culture is costing the UK economy £23 billion each year. Despite this, 60% of SME leaders believe that company culture is a ‘nice to have’ in their business, which, in turn is leading to negative working environments. And, although it might seem like just a business issue, it has broader ramifications.
Toxic workplace cultures are an all-too-common story of anxiety, burn-out and stress. In the UK we have a serious problem with working longer hours, which, whilst the majority of us power through the long, tiresome days, overworking ourselves can actually be having a devastating affect on our long term-health and wellbeing.
This issue doesn’t stop at the UK, though – it is prevalent around the world, too. Just take a look at Japan. Their unique working culture means that a typical employee works 60 hours a week, with some employees even grafting for up to an astounding 100 hours per week. But this lifestyle has its consequences and working yourself to death has even acquired its own name – karõshi.
For businesses, this way of working is directly linked to the costs of absenteeism and presenteeism. And, for society, this places further strain on our stretched NHS. Yet, investment in these very areas is positively correlated with improved business performance.
Is this worth it?
It falls on business owners and managers to decide how to run their companies and what culture they provide for their people. Opportunities for improvement can be identified, and business norms re-written. It is a conscious decision whether or not we should sacrifice the health and wellbeing of employees in an attempt to boost productivity and revenue. Is it worth it?
Jonathan Richards, CEO at breathe, believes it is not: “Culture isn’t a soft option. It has a clear impact not just on business success, but on the economy and our society. And being involved with this years Snailspace campaign is the perfect opportunity to show small businesses just how important it is.”
“Encouraging people to slow down, be more mindful and appreciate life a little more is something very close to our values here at breathe. Running a business, especially when you’re just starting out, can be an exhilarating experience filled with tremendous highs and lows. As such, business owners and employees often forget to take the time to stop and think every now and again. However, it’s in these moments, when you pause, that some of the best ideas come.”
“We’d like to encourage Brighton-based business owners to take some time to slow down and think. Think about where they want the business to be heading, what sort of company culture they want to instil and the type of team that will help propel the business forward.” Jonathan comments.
How can businesses slow down?
By slowing down companies will be able to review their culture and working practices that could be having a detrimental affect on their people. Here are some quick wins for businesses looking to slow down:
- Hold regular mindfulness sessions or workshops
- Ensure employees are fully utilising lunch breaks
- Hold regular 1-to-1s to check in with employees
- Ensure you’re monitoring and measuring your employees’ holiday take up and absences
- Consider a flexible working policy for your company
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