Working at Central YMCA - finding the balance

During National Work Life Week we explore the work-life balance at Central YMCA
5 October 2016

This week we’re celebrating National Work Life Week, highlighting the importance of wellbeing at work and a better work-life balance.

Stress is rife in the workplace, no more so than now, and a study by CV library showed the contributing factors as long working hours and poor management.

Here at Central YMCA, we believe it’s about finding balance, and with a mission to help people live happier, healthier and more fulfilled lifestyles, we start at home. The wellbeing of everyone that works for us is paramount.

Lindsay Gallard, Group HR Director, said: “Being well means so many things to so many different people; being well physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. For some people, there’s a real education piece around just knowing what it takes to stay well. Central YMCA understands that it’s all of this, and knows that the key is balance.

The importance of wellbeing is a belief that’s woven into the very fibre of this organisation, rather than something that is paid lip service to – and I know that makes us unique.
Lindsay Gallard, Group HR Director

“We aim to create an environment where employees can have a positive and rewarding work experience, and balance this against the varied needs of our beneficiaries, customers, partners and stakeholders. We’re all aware that our lives are intensifying, working patterns are changing, technology is encroaching on our quiet time and boundaries are blurring. Central YMCA understands that how people are managed matters. We help our colleagues strike a balance through our engaging management team, our collaborative culture and supportive workplace practices that encourage employees to take responsibility for their own wellbeing. It’s also helpful that our offices near Tottenham Court Road are next door to London’s largest gym – the original YMCA!  All of our employees are encouraged to take the time to make use of this incredible space to recharge physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually, as they need.

“The importance of wellbeing is a belief that’s woven into the very fibre of this organisation, rather than something that is paid lip service to – and I know that makes us unique.”

This is backed up by our employees who have had positive experiences. Julia Harvey, in our Marketing department, who has worked at Central YMCA for more than two years, said: "Before I joined Central YMCA, I used to work 12 hour days and never take a lunch break. Work was my life. I only had weekends and no evenings. When I moved here I was surprised that no one did overtime and there was so much more time to actually live my life.

 

Central YMCA gives me the space and time to develop myself, learn new things and meet new people.
Julia Harvey, Marketing Manager

“I can work flexible hours when I need to because it’s more productive. I am home by 5.30-6pm giving me back my evenings so I can spend more time with my husband, my family and my friends. Central YMCA also gives me the space and time to develop myself, learn new things and meet new people. I am actually doing a course here at YMCA in Ceramics.

“My days are fuller because they are not just work. There is life after work after all.”

Another Central YMCA employee who has worked here for more than a decade is Head of YMCAfit Rob Johnson. He said: "My job at YMCAfit gives me solace. My colleagues, many of whom are my friends, give me a smile when I walk in and we share, we care and we support each other. We’ve developed a sense of doing the right thing for each other and our customers. It’s about being honest when things aren’t working well and celebrating when they are. This allows me and the team the space to release the safety valve when needed.

"It's rare that people stay in the office after 5.30pm and if they do we review the work load to ensure the day is being delivered to SMART objectives and we share the workload around. Our HR team have also developed a broad support network."

Central YMCA is a leading health and wellbeing charity. Find out more about working with us.

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