Work life balance for investigators

Avon and Somerset professional standards and vetting department have primarily worked from home since March 2020. The change to working from home and balancing other issues such as ‘home schooling’ has led to the ‘blurring of lines’ on hours worked, where often staff are logging back on in the evening or weekend because the home environment has become the work environment. 

Due to PSD investigators working longer days and additional hours, there has been an increased expectation as to everyone’s ‘availability’ at all times.

How did you do it?

A CPD event was organised for the department with an input from head of strategic services. The input to staff included:

  • importance of wellbeing, particularly work life balance
  • tips to provide a ‘physical’ barrier to work desk within home setting
  • tips to schedule breaks in calendar supported by disabling notifications for that period
  • understanding of IT applications to engage effectively with remote team
  • disabling notifications for a period of time on IT applications enabling uninterrupted work

The head of professional standards instructed line managers to build in time for staff to attend relevant Oscar Kilo sessions on relevant topics. Sessions are added to the department’s calendar and line managers coordinate attendance balancing daily demand v resources. Culture changes influenced by all leaders/managers attending sessions and employing periods of time when ‘unavailable’ to allow uninterrupted work.

Top tips for implementation

Tip 1
Create an event that meets the needs of your staff.
Tip 2
Be sure to address the culture of ‘presenteeism’ or expectation of 24/7 availability head on.
Tip 3
Engage managers and leaders to ensure behaviour is reflected at all ranks.
Budget required

Ease of implementation

Impact on investigators