How Harris Creative is making wellbeing work for everyone

By Neil Craven and Kirsty Scott

The image depicts the activities the Harris team enjoys on their early finish Friday.

Everyone who has worked through the past five years knows that the workplace and working practices have been transformed. Harris Creative used to be an outlier when it came to flexible and remote working – and now we’re glad to see that this is the norm in more and more places.

While we’ve been offering options like remote and flexible working for several years now, we’re always looking out for new ways to improve the team’s wellbeing and create a better work/life balance. After all, people who are well-rested and feeling fresh are more likely to come up with great creative concepts, and have the enthusiasm and energy to deliver meaningful results for our construction sector clients.

We have a range of initiatives and policies in place to support this: teams agree between them the best working patterns to ensure that everyone has the right balance between collaborative and solo work; every member of the team is encouraged to take breaks – from longer lunchbreaks whenever you fancy it, to paid time off for physical and mental health appointments. Plus, we have trained mental health first aiders across the departments who are on hand to help those who may be struggling. And of course, there’s our annual wellbeing day where we all down tools and spend some time socialising, playing games, and relaxing together as a group.

Last year, we embarked on a new trial initiative: what if we all took a longer weekend once a month? So, since August of last year, we’ve been enjoying an early finish on the last Friday of every month. If you’re a client or partner of ours, you may not have noticed, which is music to our ears. We’ve made sure that projects are still delivered in full and on time, and both managing directors agreed from the outset that we will always be just an email or phone call away for our clients, so we have never left an urgent matter unattended to.

So far, it’s been a roaring success! People have more time with their families and loved ones, or time to sort out all-important life admin without having to fit it around work. Some members of the team have taken weekend breaks and come back feeling more refreshed, and others have taken the opportunity to have some quiet time at home while their families are still at school or work. Whatever we’re doing with it, we all appreciate those extra few hours to ourselves.

So we’ll be sticking with it throughout 2024: the last Friday of every month, we’ll be finishing up a little early to get some R&R and come back raring to go. Because a happy Harris is a creative Harris – and that’s what works for everyone.

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