“BE kind” is now a buzz-phrase of the pandemic. But do you apply it at work?
It is Random Acts of Kindness Week and employment experts are urging the nation to be caring to colleagues.
Government data shows stress-related illnesses cost the UK at least £6.5billion a year, with an estimated 11.7million working days lost to depression and anxiety annually.
So, being more considerate really can improve your professional life.
Former coffee shop manager Sandra Viz knows from personal experience how big a difference one act of kindness can make.
At the start of 2020, after losing her job and partner, 44-year-old Sandra had been living in a car for three months.
She was finally placed in emergency accommodation at a Travelodge in Milton Keynes, Bucks, by her local council.
Sandra said: “Being put in the Travelodge was overwhelming as I had not had human contact for several months.
“I used to chat to hotel manager Dawn Knight and she helped rebuild my confidence. She stunned me by saying she’d arranged an interview for me at another nearby Travelodge, as she felt I’d be good for the role.
“I was over the moon that someone I had met a little while ago could do something so special to help me.
“After the interview, I was offered the job as receptionist. I started in August and by September I had put down a deposit on a flat. That one act of kindness changed my life.”
These are the top tips from Kindness UK for being more considerate at work:
- Encourage employees to take time for themselves when they feel stressed.
- Take on work experience trainees and give homeless candidates priority.
- Adopt a charity and organise regular activities to raise money for it.
- Have an award for good deed of the week/month.
- Hold staff bonding days.
- Go eco. Assign someone to make sure all lights are turned off at the end of the day and buy recycled items.
- Have a walk or cycle to work scheme.
- If you have outside space, create a garden for nature to thrive. Inside space only? Add pot plants.
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Tech’s top notch
Tech giants dominate the country’s best places to work, according to a new survey.
In an annual report by employee review site Glassdoor, Salesforce were placed top with a rating of 4.5 out of five.
Also highly rated were Facebook, Apple, Google and biotech company Abcam, as well as food chain Bella Italia.
Glassdoor boss Christian Sutherland-Wong said: “This year’s winning employers have proven, even in extraordinary times, they’ll rise to the challenge to support their people.”
Should a job rely on a jab?
Companies have started drafting “no jab, no job” contracts in a bid to force staff to get Covid-19 vaccinations.
But can your boss really make you get inoculated?
Gillian McAteer, head of employment law at HR firm Citation, said: “Employee vaccination is a very emotive topic.
“However, I would advise employers to stop short of making vaccines compulsory.”
Below, she gives her advice…
- The Government has not made getting a Covid vaccine mandatory, making it hard to legally justify forcing people get jabs to work.
- No public organisation, including the NHS, has made vaccination a compulsory requirement for any position.
- Instead, employers can set out the dangers of Covid-19, the benefits of having the vaccine and strongly encourage employees to take up the inoculation.
A spokesman for HR company XpertHR said: “Employers have a duty to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of employees.
“Asking them to agree to a vaccination against coronavirus is likely to be a reasonable step to take to reduce the health risk.
“But if employees don’t agree to a vaccine, employers are limited in what they can do.”
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