A vast amount of our weekday routine is spent at desks in the workplace, an action that is unhealthy for the body and the mind. In 2014/2015 an estimated 1.2 million people claimed to be suffering from an illness they believed was caused or worsened by work.
Around 80% of the new work-related conditions during this time were musculoskeletal disorders, stress, depression or anxiety. It is estimated that the direct costs of employee absence to the economy was more than £14 billion per year according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Historically health of employees has primarily focused on prevention of workplace accidents and injuries. Nowadays, health and safety is no longer the only focus. Wellbeing in the workplace, through ensuring that the work environment focuses on a more holistic approach to wellbeing and offers facilities and programmes beneficial to this movement, has become a pinnacle part of forward thinking workplaces.
Concert have ensured that employees health is a priority by implementing Healthshield, a company sponsored Healthcare cash plan. The plan offers all staff Level 2 cover, which includes benefits such as Dental, Optical and Physiotherapy cover. In addition, Concert have a virtual GP service, a reward/perks website with a variety of great deals and discounts on a number of products and leisure activities. Concert also has individual health insurance with BUPA and an Employee Assistance Programme which provides 24/7 counselling and support through a helpline which covers health, legal, finance, wellbeing and family advice.
Along with the services provided to guarantee a better physical and mental wellness for employees, Concert further inputs this essential quality of wellness through the layout of their office space. The upcoming move to a new office will create variety for employees through workspace with quiet areas, hot desking, collaborative seating areas, open spaces, as well as client and amenity areas. A range of working areas allow for employees to change their routine and allows them to pick from multiple options dependent upon their workload and mood.
Flexible working is also a quality which Concert encompass in their commitment to improving the working lives of all staff, helping employees to also achieve a good work/life balance. Flexible working defines as any type of working arrangement that gives some degree of flexibility on the length of time a staff member works, as well as when and where the location of the work is. This includes arrangements such as working from home or remote locations, compressed hours, job sharing and part time working.
Within Concert there is always the opportunity for career development inside the company. Once the probationary period is completed, staff are required to complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to support them in their career progression. The plan is reviewed annually, allowing for HR and line managers to review staff and successfully identify, develop and retain talent within the business. Thus, helping to identify promotion opportunities, with the IDPs being adapted to ensure that steps are in place for the employee to reach the next promotional opportunity.
Additionally, Concert provides continuous APC support, to assist staff in becoming chartered. An external provider comes in to assist with case studies and pre-qualifying mock exams, to make sure that employees that the opportunity to get help throughout the course. Senior Associate, Chris Warwick, who is within the residential team, has recently qualified as an APC assessor and therefore will be undertaking the exams alongside the RICS.