Learning at Work Week is this week, and since Athene is such a believer in innovation in the workplace, we wanted to tell you about Thinking Time. Thinking Time is an initiative that we implemented in November 2017 which gives all employees up to one day a month to step away from work and take time to… think!
In the last 18 months we have seen a calmer office environment, more innovative and creative campaigns and a reduction of stress amongst the team. Studies have shown that taking time away from your normal day to day routine can help reduce stress and boost creativity, so we decided to put it to the test.
According to a report by the Health and Safety Executive; in 2017/2018, 595,000 workers in the UK suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety. This resulted in 15.4 million working days being lost in the same period in the UK. Some of the main factors cited included workload pressures, tight deadlines and a lack of support.
By introducing Thinking Time, we give our team members a chance to take a break and make improvements to their lives without having to worry about deadlines or workload.
Whilst many at Athene choose to take their Thinking Time at home away from the office, some choose to use it as a team. For example, our Education team use their Thinking Time together three times a year to see how they can work together better, and come up with new ideas for their clients.
Each member of the team uses their Thinking Time differently according to their needs, but a few of the most common things it is used for include:
- Business development
– Industry research
– Reviews of past successes
- Training courses
– Chartered Institute courses
– Online webinars
– Management programmes
– Diary or email management
- Reviewing clients to ensure best practice
– Reading past work
– Reviewing objectives
– Brainstorming new ideas
- Personal development
– Reviewing personal objectives
– Preparing for appraisals
Taking a break is a great way to boost morale and improve creativity at work. Is it something that you should be doing too?