NestlÚ unveils three new flexible work arrangement policies

Monday, November 18, 2019

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Flexi-time, compressed work week, and telecommuting are three of the new flexible working practices that NestlÚ Jamaica unveiled recently to its staff at the company's Policy Day Road Show at its head office at Ferry Pen.

“The workplace wellness sector is growing in Jamaica, and while individual-level perks like onsite gyms and exercise bikes are just some of the ways to battle absenteeism at work, there is more that can be done,” NestlÚ Jamaica said in a news release.

Noting that flexible working time allows employees to change the start and end times of the work day around stated normal business hours, NestlÚ said the arrangements support the accommodation of employees' personal needs such as long commutes, child/elderly dependent care, etc to the extent that such needs can be satisfied without compromising the company's business or impairing employees' job performance or responsibilities.

In relation to telecommuting, NestlÚ said that type of arrangement provides the opportunity for employees to work remotely from home or from alternative locations using telecommunication technologies provided by the company.

“This flexible work arrangement can assist to balance work and other life responsibilities or personal needs. It may also assist employees to complete tasks/projects requiring high levels of concentration without interruption,” NestlÚ said.

The company noted, too, that the compressed work week formula will allow employees to maintain a 40-hour work week but work longer hours on a number of days so they can take time off on the remaining days.

“We all know that excessive stress is a health hazard. What is less talked about are the effects of burnout on business performance. Stress makes people nearly three times as likely to leave their jobs, temporarily impairs strategic thinking, and dulls creative abilities. Burnout is a threat to your bottom line, one that costs companies millions of dollars a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal, and insurance costs,” the release quotes NestlÚ Jamaica's Human Resources Business Partner David Heath.

He said the new policies represent a shift to an organisation-level approach to reducing stress at work; an approach that fosters employee well-being while simultaneously improving business performance.

“The company has fully embraced technology to enable [a] flexible work-from-anywhere culture,” he said.

“The landscape is changing, so it's up to us as a corporate entity to adapt in order to stay relevant. Our focus should be on what and how things get done in the most efficient way, rather than where and when. More workers expect flexible work hours to be part of an employer's benefits offerings. Certain positions are more natural for such arrangements, including those in which most work is already performed remotely. IT, for example, increasingly see flexible work schedules as the norm,” added Heath.

“We are convinced that a more flexible workplace will bring benefits for both employees and NestlÚ,” he said, arguing that giving up some control of work schedules generates increased employee morale, engagement, and commitment to the company.

“In addition, supporting a better balance of private and professional life is one of NestlÚ's values that aligns with our positioning as a nutrition, health and wellness company,” he said.


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