“We’re going to cross this field with two buckets and one plank, whilst carrying a pound of mint humbugs. If we do this, we’ll be a better team!” No, what you’ll be is a group of snarky people. What you’ll have is a group of people ruining the clothes their hard earned money has paid for, snapping at each other for minor infractions, and resenting the day you were ever born. We don’t do this sort of malarkey to build relationships with friends or make our family dynamics better. Let’s face it, for many of us we limit that type of enforced organised fun to once a year – Christmas. So why do many managers or employers think that throwing together an assortment of people with nothing in common that their workplace will have a positive effect? It increasingly seems to be the go to option in fixing any issues with staff engagement or unhappy teams. Is it because employers increasingly feel that its’ their responsibility to help people like each other, or is it just a hangover from the 80s that workplace culture can’t quite shift? The majority of people come in to work every day with a few simple objectives – do their job well, be paid appropriately, and to be able to coexist with their co-workers. Developing friendships is a bonus but they grow organically and takes time. I really can’t see how forcing a group of people to go potholing for a day, learn to juggle,… View Post

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Flossie – name of a new, super cool band? No, although if anyone wants to adopt it as a band name I’m copywriting it here. What I’m actually referring to is the “Flossie” trap, a situation which many people find themselves in both in their work and home environments. It’s when you’re the reliable go to person that always says yes and does any task thrown at you. You never let people down. It sounds like a good thing right? No, it’s not. It’s the doormat end of the spectrum of getting it done. I first heard about the concept when I undertook the Springboard Development Programme for women, an inspiring series of workshops for women who want to reach their potential. Don’t let my horrible experience of the module on personal branding and style put you off. Everything else was amazing! Although I found the workshops fascinating at the time, it’s only now, that I’m realising their benefit. Why? Because sometimes it can take a long time to really process your current situation and apply tools fully. Sometimes, your path changes and what’s relevant at one time of your life, is less so at another. So what or who is a Flossie? If you’re someone who always takes on extra work, works hard and hopes that you’ll be noticed, takes on the undervalued roles and makes yourself indispensable – then you’re probably a Flossie. As I reread that sentence it doesn’t go unnoticed that I could easily insert the… View Post

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Flexible working can include a range of options to enable you to better manage your commitments while completing the duties of your job. It can include: • Working an agreed number of hours per day but with flexible start and finish times • Working at multiple locations or home working • Compressing your hours, so you can work your contracted hours over fewer days, or vary the number you work each day. • Varying the weekly hours you week, so some weeks you work more than others. • There’s also term time only working, career breaks and more. All workers in the UK have the right to apply for flexible working and do not have to be carers or parents. Having these commitments however is likely to be the thing that prompts most of us to ask for flexible working. I’m incredibly fortunate that I have tried several flexible working patterns since returning to work from maternity, encompassing both flexible hours and home working. I now work three long days split, primarily in the office with a few hours at home. So far it’s working. But how do you put your case forward to apply for flexible working? Each employer will have their own set of internal policies and processes for how this is administered. You will have to follow these, but in almost all situations you will have to make your case as to why they should give it to you. This “business case” usually sets out the benefits… View Post

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