Flexibility Works, Scotland’s leading experts in working flexibility, has put Edinburgh-based tech business PODFather in the spotlight, highlighting the company’s commitment to staff wellbeing. Workplace wellbeing relates to all aspects of working life, from the quality and safety of employee’s physical environment to how team members feel about their work and their workplace. For PODFather, wellbeing has shaped company policy and staff support initiatives over the past two years. A Flexibility Works flexible working award winner, PODFather continues to put its commitment to staff wellbeing at the heart of its company ethos with the introduction of new flexible working measures and staff support programs.
Flexible working & staff wellbeing
PODFather, is an Edinburgh-based tech firm that develops software solutions that help fleet operators in the logistics and construction industries to improve their delivery operations using robust technology. With a team of 43 employees and high tech offices in the Gyle area of Edinburgh PODFather sees looking after staff’s mental health and wellbeing as being the right thing to do for both its employees and its business.
We have always taken a positive approach to flexible working and supporting staff but the last two years has seen us invest heavily in developing a proper staff wellbeing plan that ensure everyone who works here is well supported both professionally and emotionally
“PODFather’s employees are its biggest asset and as a business it is our responsibility to ensure that staff wellbeing is taken seriously,” comments Colin McCreadie, Managing Director at PODFather. “We have always taken a positive approach to flexible working and supporting staff but the last two years has seen us invest heavily in developing a proper staff wellbeing plan that ensure everyone who works here is well supported both professionally and emotionally.”
PODFather staff have access to a range of initiatives designed to help improve wellbeing in the workplace. These include:
Flexible working for all: Even before the pandemic PODFather offered flexible working options to all staff. This enabled team members to work flexible hours starting and finishing early, or late, with the ability to work at least one day at week at home. During the COVID pandemic all staff began working at home with minimal disruption to company productivity. With the easing of social distancing restrictions PODFather has decided to let staff decide where they wish to work when, with many opting to work mainly from home with occasional days in the office.
Wellbeing clinic: Everyone can access a ‘help@hand’ support service which offers confidential GP support and mental health advice. In addition, the company HR representative runs weekly drop-in clinics where team members can get one-to-one advice on anything from mental and physical health and wellbeing outside work to management style coaching and career development advice.
Extended lunch breaks: Getting away from your desk and getting fresh air during the day is known to improve concentration and staff wellbeing. PODFather allows everyone to take up to 2 hours to get away from their desk during the day, whether that to be to exercise, meet friends or just get some much-needed Vitamin D.
Employee networks: As a tech company you would expect PODFather to use technology, where possible to enhance the working day. Social conversations are encouraged across business divisions with regular ‘donut chats’ throwing employees together. In addition, some members of the team created a virtual office where employees could work alongside each other, have meetings or enjoy social events such as virtual pub quizzes or cook along experiences.
It’s been great to give everyone a way to socialise without having to actually be together,” adds McCreadie. “It doesn’t matter what your role is, we’ve all been watching the same series on Netflix, or have other things in common and these informal chats and virtual meet ups encourage those informal conversations that many miss now that we are mostly home-based.”
Personal training budget: Everyone at PODFather, from all departments, has access to a personal training budget to spend on themselves each year. Employees use this opportunity to enhance existing skills or learn new ones.
“If you have a good product and look after your customers, profit will usually take care of itself. But if you don’t look after your people, they’re going to leave and that’s not good for business,” adds McCreadie. “If someone’s having a hard time, it’s the right thing to do to help them if you can. You will get more back from them in loyalty and goodwill too.”
As a result of PODFather’s flexible and wellbeing policies employees can work, and live, the way that suits them best.
“We are very proud of how our team pulled together during the COVID pandemic and we collaborated with our staff to ensure we did all we could to help maintain morale and personal wellbeing during that difficult period,” concludes McCreadie. “The last two years have taught us that you can be both a successful and flexible employer and that if you care for your team in the right way, you will grow your business and keep good people within your organisation.”