Creating a balance

Article image - Creating a balance Recognising the benefits of work life balance City of Perth staff engage in holistic wellbeing initiatives offered in the workplace. Photo courtesy of Monica Defendi Photography.

City of South Perth, Western Australia, recognises that balancing work and personal commitments is important to employees and has implemented a raft of programs to help achieve that balance.

Providing a flexible working environment that offers the option of flexi-time for inside workers and a nine-day fortnight for outside workers is a step in the right direction.

A variety of health and wellbeing initiatives are available to all staff through the Health and Wellbeing Program.

Included are flu vaccinations, skin screening, ergonomic assessments and healthy team activities.

Holistic wellbeing initiatives are run to encourage movement and benefit not only desk workers such as stretch and cardio classes and small group health coaching sessions covering diet, exercise, sleep and meditation.

The health coaching program proved to be extremely popular and successful, expanding in 2018 to include a specific group formed for the outside workforce to access.

In support of the program, all vending machines were removed from offices and operational areas and instead a weekly fruit box is made available to employees.

Wellbeing programs include the Fit 24 Wellbeing Challenge, a team based challenge in which employees aim to achieve food, sleep and fitness goals for 24 days within a chosen month.

A total of 56 employees participated in the 2018 challenge and a post-challenge survey established that: 89 percent of participants would continue to eliminate sugar from their diet; 73 percent would continue to prioritise going to bed tech-free; 92 percent continue to prioritise moving more during the day; and 65 percent of participants lost weight at an average of 1.11 kg per participant.

Another initiative introduced during the year to support the health of employees is SafeSpine, a work conditioning and injury prevention program that integrates assessment, education and coaching to reduce workplace injuries.

A total of 56 outside employees participated in the program with 15 of those volunteering to become SafeSpine leaders within their work groups.