Hosted by Working Families, National Work Life Week is an annual campaign to acknowledge the need for striking a good work-life balance and in turn, increase our well-being at work. We wanted to highlight some of the benefits we provide which make Dataplan a great place to work, to balance both your professional career and personal life.
As Payroll ‘out-sorcerers’, the nature of our business is time-sensitive; so to maintain our excellent level of customer service, we need to ensure our staff are around when our customers need them!
Despite this, we are firm believers that happy, healthy, balanced, valued and rewarded people not only enjoy their work more, but they also do it better. We therefore actively promote and implement a healthy work-life balance, encouraging our people to strike a good balance between the office and home.
Flexible Working Platform
One of the key features in our flexible working program is Timebank, which essentially allows us to decide our own working pattern, through managing our own time. We simply track when our staff clock in and clock out daily, and tally up the total monthly.
This system is largely left in the hands of each individual employee, with monitoring from their line manager to ensure the employee’s contracted hours are being fulfilled each month. Another great feature of Timebank is the functionality to track hours worked over an employee’s contracted hours. Employees can then redeem these hours through coming in late, leaving early, extending their lunch break or even booking additional days leave (limited to a maximum of 6 per employee per year).
This tool proves particularly useful for those who wish to arrive later to the office and leave later, arrive earlier to leave early, or have to take a break during the day to accommodate appointments. Having this fluidity in our working pattern removes the stress of rushing against the clock in our daily commute, or even having the option to miss rush-hour all together with a flexible margin on start and finish times.
Part-time & Term-time Working
Part-time working can be a good way of balancing work and personal commitments. Where possible, Dataplan provides a range of working patterns for our people, including part-time & term-time working, which is subject to review on a case-by-case basis.
Upon joining Dataplan, basic holiday entitlement for staff is 20 days (pro-rata entitlement for part-time staff) plus all statutory bank holidays as they fall due, totalling 28 days. Senior positions rise to a starting allowance of up to 23 days.
In addition to the above allowance, Dataplan have what is known as a ‘Director’s Day’, which is an additional day’s paid leave during the Christmas period - nominated, as the name suggests, by the directors.
Our staff also receive a service award of one additional day’s holiday entitlement following their 2nd anniversary of starting work with us. Following this, staff are rewarded a further holiday day annually up to a maximum of 5 additional days, following 6 years’ service.
On top of all of the above – we give our staff the opportunity to purchase up to 5 additional holiday days to enable them to reach a maximum of 28 days holiday (excluding bank holidays) in the holiday year. The cost of these additional days is deducted from salary, via our salary Sacrifice scheme over the course of 12 months.
A word from our Director of People, Elaine Gibson on our Covid-19 response:
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we quickly deployed the majority of our staff to a home-working model. As a business we adapted quickly to this new normal and we are incredibly proud of our people for ensuring that our client service was not disrupted throughout this difficult time. In order for this brilliant service to continue, we had to ensure our people were well looked after.
Like most organisations, we have a raft of people policies in place, and we are aware that a good number of our people have a mix of very young and school age children or caring responsibilities. So there was added pressure on our people to meet the requirements of their role, as well as the issues of childcare and home schooling to consider.
To support our people, we implemented a number of Covid-19 policies and we relaxed some of the boundaries within our flexible working policy. Some people chose to work split shifts to enable them to achieve a good work-life balance. We left this to the line manager discretion, as long as the service continued to our usual high standards, we became even more flexible as an employer.
We also had to consider that homeworking does not suit us all, some individuals live alone, and some find it hard to be productive when not in the proper work environment. We had to consider the mental health and wellbeing of our people, achieved by implementing a good communication strategy and providing additional tools to enable this, such as instant messaging for individual teams’, and providing the more vulnerable individuals with additional support by means of regular telephone contact from Lesley Wilson, our Head of Human Resources.
Shortly into our new deployment as home workers, our Marketing Team set up a social media group containing all of our staff, which was host to various quizzes and competitions throughout the work day to offer a short break and act as a placeholder for the ‘kitchen chats’ we were all missing.
We are always very conscious of our people, their health, safety and wellbeing; however, this situation has driven us to develop additional layers of protection for our workforce.