Spring is in the air, the blossoms are out in gardens across the country and our collective thoughts are moving towards the longer days and warmer temperatures. As we jump into springtime and summer preparations, here at Nestlé UK & Ireland we favour a balanced approach to life. Springtime is a great time to try new things, like making a personal commitment to try a new physical activity, whatever your age or level of ability.
As a health and wellness company, we don’t just think of the health of our consumers, but, we are continually working hard to support the wellbeing of our thousands of Nestlé UK & Ireland colleagues. Here are ten of the many ways that we are doing our bit for employee wellbeing:
Pets at Work
Nestlé’s UK HQ at Gatwick is now well known as a dog friendly place to work, and we now have five dog-friendly sites across the UK & Ireland including York and Dublin.
Dogs are, by nature, sociable and affectionate and we support research from the British Medical Journal which shows that allowing dogs in the workplace increases social interactions, which leads to better collaboration and productivity. We’ve seen this first hand at our sites, and offer plenty of opportunities for our four-legged colleagues to get involved with day-to-day life at Nestlé.
Work life can be busy at Nestlé and at times we need to work over our normal hours helping our customers and consumers. To ensure our colleagues don’t miss out, all permanent, office based colleagues are encouraged to take one paid ‘flex’ day off every month, on top of their annual leave allowance.
Mental Health First Aid Training
More of us are reporting problems with our mental health, in fact 1 in 4 of us will suffer with poor mental health this year. This, coupled with the knowledge that poor mental health is responsible for more absenteeism in the workplace than any other reason, prompted us to introduce Mental Health First Aid Training for employees. Working with Mental Health First Aid England, we started by building up a better profile of mental health, highlighting its importance by weaving it into our workplace culture. We now have over 80 qualified Mental Health First Aiders who are trained to recognise the signs of poor mental health and guide colleagues to support, and more training is ongoing this year.
Joys of giving
It feels great to give, especially when it’s for a good cause. At Nestlé we recognise the importance of giving back, that’s why each of our colleagues get two volunteering days a year. This allows them to dedicate their time to worthy causes across the country, from environmental projects to supporting vulnerable older people – we’ve got it covered! We offer up to around 120,000 hours of volunteering a year for good causes.
Sit or stand desks
We are all living more sedentary lifestyles, with sitting at a desk in front of a screen the new normal for many of us. To help tackle this, we’re introducing sitting/standing desks in our offices. Our Gatwick HQ is the first site to try out this new way of working with flexible desks allowing colleagues to sit or stand while they work. Colleagues have reported feeling more alert, and some studies suggest there are health benefits too.
A typical day at Nestlé is a busy day. That’s why quiet spaces for recharging, meditation or prayer are available in our Gatwick and York offices for colleagues wishing to take advantage of a quiet space during breaks from work.
Working out at work
Our head office at Gatwick already has a staff gym where colleagues can work out while they are at the office. In the coming months, ourYork campus will open its own gym and fitness studio, which will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all Nestlé employees based in York.
Supporting new parents at work
Becoming a parent is a big change in anyone’s life, and we’ve recently updated our family leave policies to ensure we continue on our path to be an inclusive place for everyone to work. Our new ‘Parent Pals’ mentoring scheme at our York and Gatwick sites helps new parents returning to work by helping them become part of a network where they can share experiences and support.
Everyone who joins Nestlé from day one has the right to 14 week’s paid leave for the primary caregiver. Colleagues taking Maternity or Adoption leave, or Shared Parental Leave, if in the first 14 weeks, are entitled to this full pay, regardless of how long they have worked at Nestlé.
We have rooms available for breastfeeding and expressing available at a number of our sites, alongside specific guidance for colleagues how to best support women needing to breastfeed or express.
Nuffield Health Checks
All Nestlé colleagues are entitled to free Nuffield Heath Checks, offering expert medical advice on health issues and lifestyle risks like cancer, weight loss, and building resilience.
Employee Assistance Programme
All of our Nestlé colleagues have access to a 24 hour confidential helpline, offering free, impartial advice and counselling on a whole host of life’s issues and problems including bereavement, anxiety, relationship advice, housing concerns, gambling and drug or alcohol misuse.