Lord Sugar – you ok hun?😱 And the importance or otherwise of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

 In Blog, Company Culture, Employee Engagement, Opinions

Lordie Lordie.

In the week that was Mental Health Awareness Week. It was interesting to see Lord Alan Sugar stressing everyone out!

As he went more and more off the rails about people no longer commuting.

The rather rich property owner, who made working from home easier in the 80’s. With his remote working technologies for executives. Went on a rather odd rampage this week. And pretty much, declared war on working from home and remote working. And I can only guess – claimed a LOT of column inches because of it.

Maybe that was the point. Maybe his ratings are down? Or non-existence. Anyway…

LORD SUGAR NOT TOO SWEET.

No alt text provided for this imageWriting for (who else but the Daily Mail) he states:

“The pandemic has unleashed a workshy, entitled culture in which people demand — and are allowed — to work from home.

This trend is bad news for business, for employees — and for the sandwich shops, cafes and taxi drivers who rely on people going into the office. I would never have built my business empire if I had been working from home half the week, because creativity thrives in company — the company of your colleagues, that is, not your cat.”

I don’t even know where to start with all that.

But he blasted a top accountancy firm, who themselves make tens of millions. As they decided to give their staff the Friday off. PricewaterhouseCoopers told its staff they can clock off at lunch time on Fridays this summer. After a trial run last year.

So I guess they have the data to KNOW it works. But that wasn’t good enough for Alan.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not quite the 4 day work week – but it’s getting there. But it was a “move” that riled the old Apprentice host to hit out at “lazy gits”. As he blamed the pandemic for having long lasting effects. And destroying productivity and our work ethic.

OLD DRAGONS

However, it is interesting to note a couple of facts here. Rather than the opinion on a property owner who is increasingly out of touch with the modern world.

One…

Recruiters, Hays said a survey of more than 9,600 workers. Showed that two in five believe a four-day week will become a reality in the next few years. Most believed a shorter working week would improve their mental health and wellbeing.

And so around…

“53% of respondents said they would consider moving to a different employer if a four-day week was offered.”

Mr Sugar – do take note…

And Two.

A study by Stanford of 16,000 workers over 9 months found that.

“working from home increased productivity by 13%.”

Not decreased it BUT increased it.

This increase in performance was due to a quieter, more convenient working environment. And working more minutes per shift because of fewer breaks and sick days. In this same study workers also reported improved work satisfaction. And attrition rates were cut by 50%.

Which are some pretty large improvements for the profit of the companies.

WHAT DOES THE OWL SAY?

Now more and more studies are being conducted and finding the same. As Owl Labs massive survey of 10,000 respondents across Europe has concluded:

“If there was one key takeaway from this year’s report… it would be that hybrid work is now the norm and flexibility is quickly becoming table stakes.

Over the past 2+ years, employees globally have adapted to a work-from-anywhere lifestyle. And expect flexibility when it comes to where and – increasingly more so – when they work.”

This is compounded by the fact that the top policies that are most likely to cause employees to not accept a job offer are:

  • not allowing for flexible hours (37%),
  • not allowing for flexible working location (28%),
  • and requiring employees to work in the office full-time (28%)

This is something we are seeing more and more. With even famous brands with loyal employees and followers. Finding they can’t keep their best staff.

As Apple’s director of machine learning has left the company. Due to Apple’s return to the office policy. Ian Goodfellow left the company. When Apple’s stated they wanted employees to return to the office.

I have a feeling he might be able to find work rather quickly.

Like most top talents.

TOP DRAGONS

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It is also interesting to note. The opposite opinion of a new Dragon. Stephen Bartlett ex boss of Social Chain – who media empire was sold for millions.

Perhaps showing the difference between the ages.

As he tweeted a few days across a wonderful list of positive company culture traits.

Several of which are the reasons we built Your FLOCK – our team employee engagement platform.

Like celebrating wins and feeling a sense of team effort.

We also built it so managers can really get the feedback they need. And keep their teams together for longer…

Which is something we believe in. As like Stephen, we at Your FLOCK believe that company culture is everything.

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Perhaps, it’s an age thing. As he is not alone…

As Chris Donnelly posted on LinkedIn something similar to much kudos on all social media platforms.

But what has made me smile this week.

After appearing on the Collectiv podcast.

And chatting to growing agency owner Josh Boland. Is the reality that, for some, a positive company culture CAN make people WANT to come back into the office.

As this is where they have made friends and they WANT to see each other.

However, I realise this is not for all the time. And some people are unwilling or uncomfortable with returning to the office. And for many others, flexibility is now essential.

So the stats that: For full-time remote workers specifically

55% said they would return to the office (if required) but would start looking for a new job immediately

Whilst 20% said they would simply hand in their notice.

Is a stark warning to some business leaders out there. Demand your workers return to the office at your peril. As Chris Welford rightly said in our last event around the future of work. The new leader has to realise that:

“We must bring people back to office consciously and intentionally”

I think when we do this and our new types of leaders are open to new collaborative and immersive tech, and use employee engagement technologies like Your FLOCK. Then the office can become a space for collaboration. For team meetings. For company all-hands days and more. And individual work can be saved for home offices.

Then and perhaps only then, this is a world in which our workspaces are optimized for our workforces.

As the boss of AirBnB rightly said

“We can’t go back to 2019 anymore than we can go back to 1920’s”

As people, as employees, as bosses, we have to keep going forward. Forever changing and make sure that we help people change with the times. And do so with regards to their mental health as well as the health of our economies.

MENTAL HEALTH WEEK.

At Your FLOCK, we work with small law firms and team leaders of legal teams that want to stay together for longer. And this sector is rife for mental health problems and high stress rates. For a number of reasons.

For this reason we have replayed our May 4th event as a live stream this week. At the end of Mental Health Awareness Week.

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Which might not be week you believe in i.e. you believe it should be all year. But it is. Still (which is worth ribbing) for many a great source of information.

And maybe inspiration.

With this year’s theme being Loneliness. Something we can all relate to, especially after the pandemic.

“In fact, in a study, 20 percent of remote workers cited loneliness as the biggest challenge they’ve faced in the shift to working from home. Even before the pandemic, research showed that loneliness in the U.S. has reached epidemic proportions, especially among Gen Z-ers.”

So we hope this week-long event shines a light on this fact. And helps inspire a generation to look at Mental Health differently. We hope our Your FLOCK events can, on a much smaller scale, do the same. And so we are very happy to announce our line up for our next event. Which asks the following question.

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We hope our events can be the same and so we are very happy to announce our line up for our next event. Which asks the following question.

How mentally fit are you? And how strong is your company culture?

It’s going to be a free for everyone online event on June 1st 1pm. With three great speakers.

  • Gemma Ellison from The MAPD Group
  • Adam Haines from Aaron & Partners LLP
  • Hazel Martin CPCC from Positive Intelligence

More information on this event here.

And everyone’s invited. Even Lord Sugar. 

I have a feeling he might be too busy and too productive to attend.

And I can only guess he doesn’t believe in any company culture stuff.

It would be really interesting to see if he does any employee engagement surveys. In the businesses he owns. And what the anonymous results would be.

Now that’s WOULD be top news for my next newsletter.

So Alan over to you.

Hope you are ok, hun… I truly do.

References for this piece – which originally was a LinkedIn newsletter:

https://www.apollotechnical.com/working-from-home-productivity-statistics/

https://owllabs.eu/state-of-hybrid-work-emea/2022

https://news.sky.com/story/childish-and-misunderstood-pwc-hits-back-at-lord-sugars-lazy-gits-hybrid-working-tweet-12610068

https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/apple-ai-head-quits-over-return-to-office-policy

The Future Of Work Part 2 – with Katy Leeson, Mel Colwill and Chris Welford https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PphMrJkw68&t=1707s

https://twitter.com/keano81/status/1524459114344161286?t=tjnwr58U1iIH6Cmcv_7xoA&s=03

https://www.manchestermind.org/mhaw22/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week/loneliness

https://www.firstpagestrategy.com/remote-work-blog/remote-work-loneliness-5-tips-for-coping

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-mentally-fit-are-you-how-strong-is-your-company-culture-tickets-337200936077

A little more information on Your FLOCK.

WE MAKE KEEPING YOUR TEAM TOGETHER EASY.

INCREASE EMPLOYEE RETENTION LEVELS IN YOUR LAW FIRM BY MORE THAN 27%. SAVING YOU £10,000’s.

Our team engagement platform, gives you the feedback you need to manage your people better. In minutes – not months.

Find out more at www.YourFLOCK.co.uk – the world’s first team employee engagement platform based on values.

This newsletter series was inspired by Katy Leeson, ex MD of Social Chain who said I should write one. So there it was. Now at edition 11.

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