In Season 5 Episode 19, ‘Dress’, this conflict of interest reaches breaking point when Schmidt has overlooked some of his professional projects in favour of planning his wedding to Cece.
He has even paid the only other male employee of his marketing firm to use a public bathroom so he can convert the male bathroom into a makeshift wedding-planning studio.
While the hilarious quandary is deployed for comic effect, the physical clash of Schmidt’s two lives has a truth underpinning it which is particularly relevant to Irish workers today.
This once glamourised ‘go, go, go’ mentality is undoubtedly waning with the recent upsurge of discourse on the importance of self-care and wellbeing in the workplace.
Last year, 216,000 Irish people opted to work from home in the interests of a better work-life balance.
While this shows growing interest in the benefits of telecommuting, this is still only 10% of the population.
The Ricoh Ireland 2017 Workstyle Innovation Survey reveals that only 37% of workers have the authorisation and access tools to work remotely which seems to suggest that a chasm exists between employees’ desire for remote working versus those empowered by their employers to do it.
Could you give your employees more freedom to choose?
What Does Your Ultradian Rhythm Say About You?
Successful HR will make each individual feel recognised, even in a busy workplace composed of diverse departments.
Often the variables of each person can be overlooked when things get busy and a project becomes an all-hands-on-deck kind of effort.
Everyone’s peaks of creativity and productivity, however, vary based on individual factors, the primary one being the individual’s ultradian rhythm. An ultradian rhythm is a recurrent cycle of energy and attention specific to each individual.
At the beginning of the cycle, we experience an upsurge of energy and focus, and at the end, we may feel distracted or drained.
Since the optimum times of these cycles are specific to everyone, employees know best when their prime times of productivity occur and how best to assign those times to their schedule depending on the amount of focus required to complete different tasks.
Remote working grants people the freedom to arrange their timetable in a way which optimises their productivity.
Having the option of when to work, where to work and in what conditions will drive your employees’ engagement with material, grant autonomy and probably save your business time in the long run.
Constant Watch-Checking Begone!
Since Ireland’s landscape is dotted with distinctly ‘urban’ and ‘rural’ regions, commuting is almost a given in the life of the white-collar worker who often lives at a distance from their office.
The Irish morning rush has become such a normative shared experience that it has been dubbed the ‘international commute’ and sees employees travelling for up to five hours each day.
The stress, anxiety and frustration which usually accompany the pressure of a daily commute have been shown to lower life satisfaction in employees and that’s even before they’ve reached their desk!
With research showing that commuting stress is linked to increased negative moods, work absenteeism and lower job satisfaction, remote working is an ideal way to reverse these effects and improve your employees’ work-life balance as well as the quality of their contributions once they reach the office.
The Makings of a Real-Time Company
The days of sacrificing mental health for career conquests are over.
The awareness of the importance of personal wellbeing is growing and is an integral value to the newcomers to the workforce, the Millennials.
Since only 1 in 10 Millennials feel they could open up to their manager about a mental health struggle, this is a key issue with which your HR department can engage to generate a present-day company culture that cares.
With this generation projected to change jobs up to 20 times in their lifetime, instituting remote working as an option will be key, not only to their health and happiness but also to safeguarding future talent.
Your HR department is in a unique position to disrupt the obligations of traditional employment and make way for the increased autonomy of employees.
Remote working is an option which will allow employees to work at times best suited to their work patterns and without the stress of traffic jams and delays.
Extending this freedom is vital to company culture, given today’s pervasive discourse on the importance of mental health.
The introduction of remote working is set to redefine the limits of the workplace and will be integral to the next generation’s relationship with HR.