As managing director of small but ambitious company Postcode Anywhere, Guy Mucklow is a big believer in creating an environment that will encourage staff to perform at their best.
“I subscribe to the healthy-in-body, healthy-in-mind philosophy,” he says. “We don’t force people to exercise but we provide lots of incentives for them to do so.”
These include subsidised membership to a gym and a cycle to work scheme, as well as showers and lockers. “Our new office was designed with exercise in mind, with probably 15% of the space downstairs given up to shower units,” he says. The business also provides free fruit and breakfast for employees, ensuring they have access to a healthy diet and have the chance to mingle with other staff in a more social setting.
The company also encourages staff to get involved in teambuilding events, and last year entered a local dragon boat race in Worcester. “These boats are very demanding and take quite a lot out of you,” says Mucklow. “A typical dragon boat takes 16-18 people and everyone got fairly fit to take part in that. That kind of thing can encourage not only fitness but also team sports, and that works in the interest of the business too.”
Mucklow is also keen to make work a place where people are happy to come each day, also by taking advantage of its geographic location, sandwiched between a river and two canals.
The company stores four kayaks in a shed behind the office, which staff can take out on the river at lunchtimes and after work, and also recently bought a company narrowboat, which staff can use to take holidays or short breaks on. “I realise that living is very expensive and, with trying to pay off student loans and mortgages, there’s not much left over for nice holidays,” he says.
Absence has never been a problem for Postcode Anywhere – Mucklow estimates staff take an average of two to three days a year off sick – but believes such initiatives must help get the most out of his team. “Ultimately, we want to see it reflected in changes in behaviour, so better productivity, happier people at work and stronger teamworking,” he says.
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