Wellbeing at Work: Tell us your thoughts  

From Nikki Hyde, Deputy HR Director and Chair of the Wellbeing Working Group 

There really is a lot going on at the moment and if you’re anything like me then you’ll have found the last term has flown by – I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling more than ready for the Christmas break! The Government announcements over the last couple of weeks have also been a reminder of what an unusual environment it is we are all still working in. Together with the workload issues we continue to face, this adds pressure on all of us and can have a real impact on how much we’re able to enjoy our work day-to-day. 

Through the JSNCC Wellbeing Working Group, we’ve been working together to try and better understand and address the issues that are impacting us all. We want Kent to remain a great place to work; seeing people back on campus has been a real highlight over the last term, but I know the ongoing workload and wellbeing issues mean that this last term has not been any easier for many of us. All of the recommendations of the Wellbeing Working Group have been accepted and are now being taken forward and I hope that they will soon start to have a positive impact for staff. As part of this in Spring 2022, we’ll also be holding focus groups so we can hone in on the issues specifically driving the high workloads there are right across the University – and, ahead of this,  we’d like to get wider views from across the University to help us focus on the right areas. 

Workload and Wellbeing survey

With that in mind, working together with staff and Trade Union representatives, we’ve put together a Workload and Wellbeing survey which is open from today. The survey itself should take no longer than 15 –20 minutes to complete; we do recognise though that asking you to complete a survey on workloads when you are all already very busy is another thing to add to your to-do list. We also want you to have time to reflect on the questions in the survey and have some space to be able to answer them. Managers have therefore been asked to allow all staff up to 45 minutes during work in the coming weeks to complete the survey.  Do take a look if you get a chance before Christmas so you can have a think if you want to over the break, and we’ll then follow up in early January with a reminder on how to add your views. The survey will remain open until 21 January. Given how busy we all are I know this may feel like ‘one more thing to do’, but I really appreciate you taking the time to complete the survey as your views will really help us address the issues that are currently holding us back. 

Lastly, I want to wish you all the best possible Christmas, whatever you have planned, and I hope those that can have a bit of festive fun with friends and family over the next fortnight. I appreciate Christmas isn’t always an easy time for everyone though, so do read our blog from our Occupational Health and Wellbeing Manager, Brenda Brunsdon, on looking after yourselves over the festive period. Do get some rest if you can and I look forward to working together to make life at Kent as positive and rewarding as it can possibly be when we get back. 

Nikki Hyde | Deputy HR Director and Chair of the Wellbeing Working Group 
On behalf of the Wellbeing Working Group