Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 1°C


How some Suffolk companies are marking ‘Work-Life Balance Week’

PUBLISHED: 22:15 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 22:15 01 October 2018

Emma Gunton and her team

Emma Gunton and her team


From the company that’s organised ‘know who you sit next to’ treasure hunts and vegan facials, to another that celebrates work-life balance by only employing part time staff

Yoga classYoga class

The week, which runs until Friday, is an opportunity for both employers and employees in Suffolk to get behind wellbeing at work and work-life balance.

Concertus, a design and property consultants based in Ipswich, has a range of healthy activities lined up for its employees, from a ‘Know who you sit next to’ treasure hunt and lunchtime walks, to smoothie bikes, yoga, vegan facials and massages.

IT manager Jonathan Burl explained: “Health and wellbeing week is a great opportunity for members of staff to try new activities, improve their nutritional health and boost self-confidence. The week has started well with a large number of people enjoying their ride on the smoothie bike.

“The giant picnic on Friday will be a lovely way to finish the week.”

The HR and Talent Specialists Waddington Brown, based in Claydon, has also pledged its support to National Work Life Week.

Managing director Emma Gunton employs all her staff on a part time, flexible basis, and believes that both employers and employees should be mindful of the importance of a healthy work life balance not just this week, but all year round.

She explained: “I set up my business 12 years ago when my children were both young, and it has been built around everyone working part time. I persuaded people to come and work for my fledgling start up in exchange for flexible working.”

Ms Gunton argues that for employers, getting this right is no longer a matter of simply complying with legislation or fulfilling minimum obligations. “Employers who aren’t family friendly are finding themselves left behind, both in terms of being an employer of choice and in business agility. Money is not the only matter which is important to employees.”

But while work life balance is a hot topic right now, with the Labour party currently considering plans for a four day working week, many workers still find the current reality somewhat different.

Ali Hobson, who runs Little Signers Club in Suffolk, says most of the mothers she sees have gone back to work part time or not at all, “because of lack of employer flexibility.” “Past experience working in the corporate world and now running my own business and speaking to many mums who are due go back to work, I think sadly the phrase ‘work life balance’ is not fully understood by most organisations, and becomes a bit of a token statement.”

Mandie Holgate is a professional speaker who has been employed in Suffolk to deliver speaking engagements and training around the theme of work life balance. She claims that staff are understandably wary of many “games” and ideas that “box them up”. “When you actively listen and engage on their level you can discover the underlying fears that impact on work/life balance, such as the fear of looking lazy, what people think, saying no and losing your job.

“Handled well, these opportunities do not just help the individual, they help the organisation to be more successful too and you can even reduce mental health ill health.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

Two men who stalked and tried to rape a vulnerable young woman in Ipswich as she walked home from a night out have had their sentences cut.

Jurors in the trial of six people accused of murdering Ipswich teenager Tavis Spencer-Aitkens have been watching CCTV clips of a delivery van alleged to have been used to transport some of the defendants to the scene of the attack.

A teenager has appeared in court charged in connection with the robbery of an 81-year-old Ipswich man.

And what do you buy the woman who has everything? James Marston speculates about the Royals’ Norfolk Christmas

For more than 260 years generations of the Cobbold family had a great influence in Ipswich, writes David Kindred.

Drugs dealers have been using threats and intimidation to target vulnerable people in a coastal town, police have revealed.

A daylight robbery near Ipswich town centre has left a man shaken after an offender drew a knife in the middle of the afternoon.

The inquest into the death of a three-year-old girl who died after being thrown from an inflatable trampoline on Gorleston beach has been adjourned because a police report into the incident is not ready.

Two vehicles thought to be connected to ram raids in Suffolk overnight have been found by police.

A woman in Ipswich was left confused after waking in the night to see what appeared to be a flashing drone outside her window.

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24