60% of workers confirmed that the 9-5 working day no longer facilitates a healthy work-life balance for them, and flexible working is rapidly becoming the best alternative, due to its positive effect on mental health. However, we recognise that each employee is different. Not every team member feels the benefits of remote working and find it increases their feeling of loneliness, and so therefore prefer the regular face-to-face contact that visiting the office can bring. That’s why we carry out regular surveys to ensure the needs of our employees are met, and as a result of these, offer a fully flexible working scheme to all employees. They are free to visit the office when they need to and work from home on days that suit them, allowing them to spend time with family, friends and pets, manage appointments and complete day-to-day tasks, while fulfilling their work role duties. We will continue to launch and act on employee surveys, as they allow us to communicate with our workforce and gives them the space to feel heard. We also encourage regular in-person catch ups outside of work, to ensure team members feel connected, particularly where new starters are involved.
Our Mental Health Ambassadors
The Automotive Transformation Group takes mental health seriously. We have a selection of mental health ambassadors across a variety of departments (not just HR), meaning they are easily accessible and readily available. They champion a positive work-life balance and are committed to challenging the stigma surrounding mental health. They are a first port of call for anybody looking for advice, and have created a hub of resources, for people to access anonymously should they wish.
E-Learning and Ongoing Support
A recent LinkedIn study found that over a fifth of us, feel more content when actively learning new things, in fact according to Josh Bersin, heavy learners (people who actively search for new avenue of enrichment) are exposed to three times the amount of positive results than light learners (those who spend less time learning). That’s why we provide all employees with access to free courses, courtesy of our new E-Learning platform, Engage in Learning. Specifically designed to promote personal development and offer new avenues for enrichment. The courses range from industry specific guidance, to techniques associated with improving your mental health and reducing your stress at work and all contribute towards a more positive mental wellbeing.
Communication and Collaboration
Communication and Collaboration are essential for combatting feelings of loneliness, particularly in the workplace. Here at the Automotive Transformation Group we host monthly Company Updates, where all 329 employees are invited to receive information about business performance, feedback on employee surveys, important changes and other news of perks and benefits. We also use Slack to interact with team members day to day and have a #Shoutouts channel dedicated to sharing the achievements of employees and a #Companycomms channel which gives a space for employees to share news of fundraising activities and other helpful announcements. All of these contribute towards a more collaborative space designed, to prevent isolation.
Employee Resource Groups
This year we kicked off our employee resource group initiative. These groups allow employees to collaborate with fellow like-minded individuals, helping them to feel accepted and to ultimately create a sense of belonging within the workspace. Our Women@ATG Employee Resource Group hae already encouraged real momentum across the organisation with our CEO, Tim Smith now the latest advocate of the Automotive 30% Club. This drive boosts morale, gives employees a purpose and it's a joy to see groups come together to achieve something they feel passionate about.
To help you avoid loneliness while working from home, we’ve created five top tips to transform your work day!
1. Establish a regular routine
Wake up around the same time every day, and establish a routine whereby you still ‘get ready’ (i.e., washed and dressed) as if you are going into the office. This can help transition your mindset into a working mode.
2. Maintain a clear workspace that suits your personality
Your desk should be clear of clutter, but also should embody who you are. Add personal photographs that bring you joy, or purchase a real plant to add life and colour to your workspace.
3. Working remotely doesn’t always mean working from home
Just because you’re not in the office, doesn’t mean you need to be faced with those same four walls! Visit a coffee shop, a library or co-working environment, to shake up your routine, particularly on days when you find loneliness a challenge.
4. Working from home is not an excuse not to exercise
You aren’t commuting, but it is still important (if not more so) to make time for exercise. Even the shortest of walks can improve mental and physical health, and can help you to refocus your attention on things that matter.
5. Make plans with friends and family after work or during lunch times
Remote Working is designed to facilitate more time spent with loved ones, so utilise that time, particularly on days where you’re feeling lonelier than usual.
If you are struggling with your mental health, we urge you not to suffer in silence. Charities like Mind and Samaritans are available should you wish to talk to somebody impartial.