Working Overtime

A Guide to Working Overtime

When businesses fall behind on projects or deadlines, they often present the notion of working overtime.

However, there are specific legal and moral requirements needed before initiating this. It’s not as simple as asking employees to stay behind and work longer than normal. One bad move and you could end up breaching contracts and legislation.

Let’s take a look at what working overtime means, what the law covers, and how to manage it in a compliant manner.

What is working overtime?

Working overtime is when an employee works beyond their normal contractual hours.

They’ll either work overtime voluntarily or involuntarily. For example, if they’re contractually obliged to work overtime once a month. Or, if they’ve been asked to help out during an unexpected busy period.

The rules on hours and pay vary when it comes to overtime work. That’s because it depends on what type of work is being done, how many extra hours are needed, and what the pay rate is.

If you plan on initiating overtime, it’s important to adhere to the law. Employers should also be sympathetic when it comes to taking efficient rest periods or having commitments outside of work. If not, you could end up losing valuable and talented staff.

What are the advantages of working overtime?

There are countless reasons why companies offer overtime. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Need more time to reduce or complete the workload.
  • Missed the deadline for a certain task or project.
  • Currently low in staff numbers.
  • Helping employees earn more money.
  • Dealing with unforeseen business issues.

What are the disadvantages of working overtime?

Whilst the benefits may seem attractive, you can ignore the downsides to working overtime. For example:

  • Lead to potential health, safety, and welfare issues.
  • Need to budget for greater expenses.
  • Face an increase in absences (due to ill-health).
  • Employees feel obliged to work despite personal matters.
  • Could impact the quality and quantity of output.

Are you obliged to work overtime?

In the UK, there isn’t a specific law that outlines the rules on working overtime. Instead, employers need to refer to legislation relating to work hours, pay, and wellbeing.

An absence of legislation means employees aren’t legally obliged to work overtime. Meaning, you cannot force them to work more than 48 hours per week – regardless of whether they have a written or verbal contract.

This is outlined under the Working Time Regulations 1998. If an employee agrees to work more hours, they must sign an agreement to ‘opt-out’ of this right. (They also have a legal right to defer back to the maximum weekly limit).

Are you obliged to pay overtime work?

There is no law on how overtime works when it comes to payment. Meaning, employers aren’t legally required to pay for overtime hours. However, it’s very unlikely that employees will work for free!

Many businesses will pay their staff to work overtime. And they’ll usually offer one of three options as payment:

  • Statutory minimum wage rate.
  • Normal hourly rate.
  • Additional pay on top of their normal hourly rate.

A very common practice used by businesses is paying ‘time and a half’. How to work out overtime pay here is simple. The employee is paid their hourly rate plus an extra half – for every hour of overtime they complete.

However, many hours you offer as overtime, the average pay for the total hours must not fall short of the National Minimum Wage rate. If it does, you could be forced to pay back missing wages with compensation on top.

Do you get extra holidays for working overtime?

In the UK, employees can receive extra holidays for working overtime. From 2017, any employee who works regular overtime must have their hours included in their holiday pay and other compensations (like commission or bonuses).

Employers have a legal duty to calculate overtime hours into a minimum of four weeks for holiday pay. You can then choose to either pay their basic hours rate or amend it accordingly.

Since 2022, holiday pay for part-time workers who work overtime is based on the last 52 weeks worked. Employers are still legally obliged to apply the same overtime pay rules for both full and part-time employees.

How to manage employees working overtime

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits and laws, it’s up to you whether overtime will work in your business. If you do, here are a few steps to consider:

Outline your overtime terms

The first step you need to take is to outline your terms for working overtime. Include them within your company policies and handbooks so all employees have access to them.

It’s also a good idea to include them in employment contracts, even if certain employees won’t be asked to do overtime. Run this by your HR department to ensure your terms are lawful.

Keep track of all overtime hours and pay

Employers must keep track of all overtime hours and pay. This includes calculating how many hours individuals complete; as well as paying them accordingly. Remember, you cannot pay them less than the National Minimum Wage rate.

It’s also important to keep on top of any work benefits employees are entitled to. For example, commission pay, annual leave, bonuses, or other entitlements agreed to within their contracts.

Care for their wellbeing

Remember, employees who work regular overtime will be more tired than normal. So, make sure you care for their wellbeing as best as you reasonably can.

Make sure they’re taking breaks in accordance with their overall working hours. Some may legally be entitled to longer breaks depending on how many overtime days they’ve worked.

Be aware of presenteeism

Presenteeism is when an employee works despite being ill or sick. They may feel they can’t afford to miss out on overtime pay; or believe productivity will be affected if they don’t attend work.

Employers must ensure their staff are physically fit enough to work. Make sure people are eating and resting well. If a sick employee is worried about losing out on extra wages, send them home with the promise of making up lost hours.

 Love2shop can help you reward hard-working employees

When it comes to overtime work, employers must keep on top of hours, pay, wellbeing, and work benefits. If it’s done well, your productivity levels will sky-rocket – along with your revenue.

When employees are taken care of well, it leads to work satisfaction and engagement. Why not reward their efforts through Love2shop’s customer loyalty schemes? We guarantee there is a gift or incentive that’s suitable for all your hard-working overtimers.

What is mental health

Mental health in the workplace

Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing; all of which affects how people think, feel, and act. A big part of mental health, and how we manage it, determines how stress is managed. It also affects how we relate to other people, as well as the way choices are made. In all, it undeniably makes us unique individuals; everyone having their own way of dealing with life issues.

It goes without saying, but mental health (and by essence mental health support) is vital at every life stage. It changes as we grow older, developing when new situations are experienced. Mental health problems shape how we think, mood, and behave. When we’re struggling, it might be unbearable to deal with stress, or other worries brought on by modern life; such as life admin.

What is mental health?

Mental health is about how we feel on the inside; referring to emotions, psychological state, and overall wellbeing. It’s just as important as our physical health, as both aspects strongly affect our lives on a daily basis. When our mental health is good, we’re calm, hopeful, accepting, and at peace. It doesn’t mean things are perfect, as all of us have our ups and downs.

Weather serves as a good analogy for mental health. Think of it like this; when the seasons change, so does the weather. Some days are bright and sunny, and this is when we feel happy. Yet, when days grow dark and rainy, our emotions dip to the point we don’t want to leave the house. This can happen to any one of us.

Mental health is affected by situations, what we’re doing, and things outside our control. This includes how other people interact with us, physical health, financial state, and even world events like the pandemic. All of us, no matter our story, are affected by things that happen to us; no matter when it occurred. Our genes are also a factor, as they influence how we process things,

A lot of people find it difficult to discuss their mental health, as there still is a stigma around talking about feelings. However, keeping in how we feel is one of the most detrimental things we can do when it comes to mental health. Mental health support comes in many different forms, but the first step is admitting to ourselves we need help in dealing with how we feel.

Types of mental health problems

Mental health issues come in many different shapes and sizes. Ranging from mild to severe, they all affect someone’s thinking, in turn leading their mood and behaviour to change. In these circumstances, it’s vital we get help as soon as possible. That’s when we’ll start feeling better. Here are some signs of poor mental health:

  • Having trouble sleeping, either sleeping too much, or not being able to have a restful night’s sleep.
  • Eating more so than usual, which is known as comfort eating, and having no appetite.
  • Feeling as if we have little to no energy.
  • Numbness, such as the feeling of nothing mattering.
  • Unexplained aches and pains.
  • Helpless and hopeless moods.
  • Over indulging in bad habits like smoking, drinking, and doing drugs.
  • Unusual mood swings of heightened confusion, forgetfulness, paranoia, anger, sorrow, anxiety, and fright.
  • Short temper, lashing out at friends and family; yelling or fighting.
  • Mood swings affecting relationships.
  • Persistent thoughts.
  • Hearing voices that aren’t there.
  • Thoughts of self-harm, or of hurting others.
  • The inability of performing daily tasks.

How to support employees’ mental health

Employers should do what they can to offer mental health support for employees. When tackling employee mental health, employers and managers need to be aware of what signs to look out for. Everyone exhibits their mental health in different ways, but there are some tell-tale traits to keep in mind. Intervening at an early stage helps prevent issues from escalating, but employers can’t give advice about mental health issues if they’re not qualified to do so. This guide, jointly written by mental health charity Mind and the CIPD, contains information on how managers can better support employees experiencing stress and mental health issues.

Signposting to support is arguably the best course of action. It’s important that line managers have the knowledge, as well as the confidence, to be able to point members of staff in the right direction. This includes suggesting a GP visit, or referral to occupational health.

Employee mental health support can be championed by…

  • Revaluating workloads: one of the main causes of work-related stress is unmanageable workloads. Give employees realistic timescales, which helps minimise the risk of stressing about unreasonable deadlines.
  • Promoting awareness of mental health issues: unfortunately, there’s still a stigma about discussing mental help issues, but promoting awareness and educating colleagues helps dispel myths; replacing falsehoods with established facts.
  • Work-life balance: working long hours on regular basis isn’t a sustainable way of working. It increases the risk of burnout. Employers need to ensure team members maintain a balance between their workload and personal life, and this might differ person by person.
  • Offer flexible working: flexible working arrangements offers support for an individual dealing with mental health issues, as they can better manage their work-life balance from the comfort of their own home.
  • Adopt a wellbeing policy: such a policy should cover both physical and mental health. Begin with a clear statement, committing to supporting a working environment that champions employee health and wellbeing. It should be kept under constant review, as well as being taken seriously by senior management; outlining the responsibilities of stakeholders. Advice regarding advice, support, and training bettering employee wellbeing should be readily available. The wellbeing policy, and its various processes, can be evaluated for its effectiveness.

Give the gift of self-care with gift cards from Love2shop

When you give someone a gift card from Love2shop, you’re showing them that you care about their well-being. You’re giving them the opportunity to take some time for themselves and focus on their mental health.

importance of employee wellbeing

What is Employee Wellbeing and Why is it Important?

Every employer has a moral duty of ensuring their staff work within secure conditions. That doesn’t just mean complying with relevant health and safety laws. It also extends to covering your employees’ wellbeing.

Good wellbeing is found to have direct links to higher work productivity, job satisfaction, and personal welfare. But it’s not just a great benefit for the workforce. Maintaining a good level of wellbeing at work is proven to increase your overall business success.

Let’s take a look at what employee wellbeing exactly means, why it’s important, and how to encourage it within professional and personal capacities.

What is employee wellbeing?

Employee wellbeing is considered to be one of the most crucial aspects of workplace health and safety. It’s all about being on top of your staff’s welfare during work – as much as reasonably possible.

There are several factors to take into account when dealing with wellbeing for employees. It may include physical being, mental health, financial status, or even their social state.

Whilst some of these may not be work-related, employees could continue to suffer from their issues during work hours. For example, they could be facing problems paying their rent, getting medication, or even going through bereavement.

For employers, you aren’t expected to heal or resolve their issue. This isn’t considered to be part of your legal duty for your staff. However, you do have a moral duty to provide support and aid were reasonably possible.

A quick conversation or referral could help fix the problem for good. In the end, you end up with happier, healthier, motivated, and loyal employees.

Why is employee health and wellbeing important?

Understandably, some employers will believe wellbeing isn’t part of their responsibility. However, an unhappy workforce may lead to business problems that you’re unaware of or hadn’t foreseen.

Employees are more likely to take more sick leave or unauthorised absences. This decreases the total amount of production hours; and places an additional burden on other workers covering work duties.

When an employee is suffering from poor wellbeing, they’re also likely to feel unsupported and unmotivated at work. Employers may be forced to dish out disciplinary actions, like hearings, demotions, or even dismissals.

In the end, it’s always better to aim to promote a healthier and happier workplace. This can include making sure employees are fit enough to work, all the way to supporting those with medical issues.

As mentioned, it’s not about relieving them of their issue completely. It’s about helping them get through it whilst balancing their professional and personal lives. And it all comes from promoting positive wellbeing in the workplace.

How to improve employee wellbeing in your workplace

When it comes to business success, your staff play an important part. That’s why many companies invest time, money, and effort into employee welfare. After all, a happy workforce leads to a healthy bottom-line.

Don’t be distracted into thinking wellbeing is another marketing or HR gimmick. A workplace culture that promotes positive wellbeing will ultimately lead to higher productivity, loyalty, and overall business success.

Let’s take a look at ways to boost employee wellbeing in your workplace:

Create a wellbeing policy

The first step employers should take is create a wellbeing policy and make it available to staff members. The policy should outline what wellbeing means, why it’s important, and how to ensure it stays protected during work hours.

Along with the policy, it’s also a great idea to present a workplace culture that vocalises positive wellbeing. That doesn’t mean holding meetings on eating healthy or cutting down on smoking. It also includes things like tending to personal mental health or treating others respectfully.

Employers should also highlight the importance of good wellbeing at pre-recruitment. This includes referring to it in job specs, interviews, and even during onboarding stages. That way, employees are made fully aware – respecting their own wellbeing state, as well as that of others.

Highlight the importance of mental health

From work-related stress to suicidal tendencies, mental health covers all kinds of diagnoses. Many people suffer alone – without medical or personal support. Positive wellbeing helps employees prioritise their own mental health; over other people, places, and even duties.

Employers aren’t expected to heal people with mental health problems. However, you must ensure your workplace doesn’t exacerbate a person’s health condition further (through triggers, negligence, or even discrimination).

Many businesses offer things like mental health prevention support, personal counselling, medical referrals, and even resilience training. It’s also important to eradicate any taboo or stigma surrounding mental health. Normalise and help those suffering in silence.

Promote a healthy work-life balance

It’s so important not to dismiss the importance of a healthy work-life balance. When it’s done right, it flourishes positive employee wellbeing all around.

Employers have a legal and moral duty to create an environment that encourages a healthy balance. This may include ensuring employees take efficient time off, working in safe conditions, and avoiding presenteeism (overworking whilst being ill).

Remember, employers should lead by example and not let others pick up bad work habits. Meaning, you should avoid working extra long hours, neglecting breaks, or working to the point of ill-health (including both physical and mental).

Encourage open communication and support

The only way to know if an employee is suffering from poor wellbeing is through talking about it. Employers should encourage open communication and support for those who need it.

Often, employees may be unable to work well due to personal wellbeing issues. For example, having trouble paying bills or dealing with an ongoing medical condition. Whatever the case, be sure to provide professional, confidential help as soon as possible.

With the recent rise in hybrid working, it’s also important not to neglect open communication with those working remotely or in isolation. Ensure they’re being supported just like any ‘office-based’ colleague – regardless of their working hours, location, or position.

Benefits of Employee Wellbeing

There are a multitude of benefits for implementing employee wellbeing policies in the workplace. These include:

  • Improved employee engagement
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced turnover
  • Improved mental and physical health
  • Enhanced creativity and innovation
  • Stronger company culture
  • Increased profitability

What is an example of an employee wellbeing strategy?

There are countless strategies businesses can use when it comes to improving employee wellbeing. Some are free of charge; whilst others can be sought at reasonable prices.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Health: Like, gym memberships, sports classes, and fitness sessions.
  • Medical: Like, GP appointments, therapy sessions, or health professional referrals.
  • Career development: Like, shadowing, mentoring, or training sessions.
  • Social: Like after-work gatherings, team-building days, and lifestyle events.
  • Financial: Like, rent support, loan advice, and money vouchers.

Improve your employee wellbeing with Love2shop

Every business should nurture the benefits of employee wellbeing. Not only does it make employees feel valued and respected, it also directly leads to higher work efficiency and loyalty.

Why not help encourage it further by offering gift cards and vouchers? At Love2shop, we offer a variety of rewards guaranteed to help improve your employee wellbeing rates.

However, you plan to encourage employee wellbeing, Love2shop has the perfect gift card for you.

What UK consumers want from their company this Christmas and beyond?

Every year we explore what employees want from their employers at Christmas, and beyond, and how you can get workplace gifting right – but in 2022 and 2023 it’s more important than ever.

From high earners to apprentices, inflation and recession are having a significant impact on household budgets and lifestyles. Many workers – even those considered to be in well-paid jobs – have swapped where to eat out for where’s the best value for groceries. Rising costs of energy and goods means the money people may previously have splurged at the shops is now going towards increased bills.

With workers under stress, how can you make sure that your Christmas gifting and your general day-to-day reward and recognition programmes are  well-received and makes a real difference to your employees? And importantly, as businesses also face rising costs, can you do it within a strict budget?

Is there still time to deliver a little something for Christmas 2022? Yes – who would turn their nose up at a digital gift card?

Why should you gift employees?

Many business owners may be reconsidering giving employee gifts this year, (Christmas or otherwise), thinking instead about saving money amid the challenging economic landscape. Others may simply not believe in employee gifting – feeling that the salary individuals receive  for their work is reward enough.

But research commissioned for the Love2shop Employee Value Report this year has revealed that 10 million UK workers – around a third – feel undervalued at work and 79% of those are looking for an alternative job.

Compare that to the fact that 76% reported they felt valued or recognised when their employer spontaneously gave them a gift and you can see that getting gifting right is key to retaining talent and reducing recruitment costs. Bear in mind that the vast majority of those looking for a new job have said that they are willing to stay in return for a simple sign of appreciation. It’s like the old adage: Ps and Ts go a long way.

Don’t know what to gift? Listen to your workforce

The Love2shop Employee Value Report for 2022 found that  60% of employees ranked days off, flexible working and multi-retailer gift cards as the best forms of workplace gifting.

While this is a consistent finding across such polls over recent years, our report found that, with the recession looming, 89% of workers awarded a multi-retailer gift card like Love2shop would not spend it on luxuries or experiences – in fact, they would use it to buy essentials like groceries, freeing up their cash to pay rising bills.

This is a clear indication of the growing pressure we all face and a sign that the most meaningful gift you can give as an employer this Christmas is something to help your colleagues get by.

It’s also worth remembering that small gifts up to £50 do not need to be declared to HMRC and are not subject to tax or National Insurance, which means no additional burden to your business.

A gift that lasts

With workers more likely to spend any extra money on just getting by, there is a certain employer satisfaction you can enjoy in offering a gift that helps them all year round – the Everyday Benefits Card lets a cardholder with an average family size to save over £1,300 each year

This is a prepayment card onto which you can load funds as a gift to each employee. The loaded funds are subject to a 7.5% discount – so every £100 loaded on only costs £92.50 – and employees can top up their funds all year with the same discount.

Their funds can then be spent in more than 90 outlets that accept Love2shop Gift Cards plus they can access additional savings on items like gift cards for major supermarkets, plus you can also pre-load funds onto their Everyday Benefits Card tax-free (up to the value of £50), to give them a little extra boost.

Over to you

If you haven’t set your Christmas staff gifts in stone yet, it’s worth taking a second to reassess your plans, especially during Christmas week when time is short and before you know it we’ll be in 2023. So if you need a quick fix, many business owners are ordering digital gift cards to bring a smile (and a sense of pride) to their teams.

If you want to talk about it, feel free to get in touch. We’ll be here to talk about Christmas right up until the 23rd of December.

Everyday Benefits Cards and Love2shop are flexecash products. Flexecash is the prepaid card platform that issues flexecash Love2shop Cards. This facility is provided by Park Card Services who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to issue electronic money. FRN: 900016.

Love2shop Cards are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and as such we may need to complete an electronic identity check.

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Cost of living rise presents big challenges – and there are ways to mitigate the impact

Evidence of the UK’s worsening cost of living crisis is becoming impossible to ignore – it is there in the data and in countless anecdotal examples.

One high street butcher, Raymond Millar, reports that his customers had already started saving for their Christmas dinner in July. His savings scheme that allows people to buy their meat for the festive season doesn’t usually start until September.

Then there is the GP, Dr Laurence Dorman, who for more than a year has been offering food vouchers to his patients. He is now giving them out with increasing frequency. Dr Dormam told the BBC the cost of living crisis could have “massive, profound implications” for patients’ health.

It feels like the price of everything is on the rise. As we emerged from the pandemic supply chains struggled to keep up with demand. This caused an initial spike in inflation and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine has accelerated the crisis.

Energy costs push inflation upwards

Russia is a major global source of oil and gas and the war has put huge constraints on supply. From June 2021 to June 2022 gas prices for UK households soared by 95% and electricity prices by 54%. The UK’s wholesale electric price is linked to the price of gas.

From October 1, the energy price cap will go up further. The price cap is a mechanism that sets the maximum amount that suppliers can charge in England, Scotland and Wales. From October the typical annual gas and electricity bill is likely to reach £3,358, according to consultancy Cornwall Insight.

In contrast, in October 2021 the average annual bill was just £1,400. And Cornwall Insight is forecasting this could go above £4,200 by January 2023. Millions of people are wondering whether they will be able to afford to switch the heating on at all this winter. This may dampen the enthusiasm from some for working from home.

Finance and consumer rights guru Martin Lewis, says: “This is a national crisis on the scale that we saw in the pandemic.”

Martin, and many others, are now calling on the government to take urgent action to soften the blow. From September it is likely that, whoever is prime minister, whether that’s Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak, will be forced to act. Both have been vague on the issue during their campaigns. But once they take office, the pressure to act will be irresistible.

Inflation is now above 10% and the Bank of England is projecting it will hit 13% in the next few months, tipping the UK into recession. Food prices are rising rapidly in the shops. Who can forget the price of a tub of Lurpak surging above £9 in July?

Ukraine impact felt in the supermarkets

Again, the conflict in Ukraine is having a major impact. Ukraine is a leading exporter of essential commodities such as sunflower oil, grain, maize and wheat. The United Nations has warned global food costs could rise by 20%. The rising price of oil means the cost of moving food around is also much higher, adding to high prices.

Rising costs are also hitting businesses which are in turn facing the dilemma of whether or not to pass the costs onto their customers. Some cafes, bars and restaurants are considering reducing their opening hours to reduce outgoings, according to a study by eEnergy and Censuswide.

And even nipping out for a sandwich in your lunch break is now becoming more expensive. In the last few weeks both Boots and Co-op have hiked the prices of their meal deals. Outside London, Boots has put the price up from £3.39 to £3.59. In London it has gone up from £3.99 to £4.19.

Co-op’s meal deals have jumped in price from £3.50 to £3.75. And the nation’s favourite bakery chain, Greggs, is warning of rises of up to 9% on some products in the coming months.

There is upward pressure on the cost of getting to and from work. Motorists have already seen petrol prices at the pumps rocket. And public transport users face further unpredictability. Train tickets prices rise each January based on the retail price index from the previous July, plus 1%. This means commuters could face 12% fare rises in 2023.

Although still low by historical standards, interest rates are also on the rise. At the time of writing the Bank of England has pushed up rates to 1.75% from 1.25%. Those on fixed-rate mortgages have some protection for the moment. However, the average monthly cost of a tracker mortgage has increased by more than £160 since December 2021.

Simple actions that make a difference 

There are steps people can take to mitigate some of their daily outgoings. Sharing car journeys into work with colleagues could make a significant difference to fuel costs. As could using park and ride schemes. And although grocery prices are rising, taking your own lunch into work will always be cheaper than buying a sandwich.

And many coffee shops run loyalty schemes where you get a free hot drink after your card’s been stamped so many times, or a reduced price if you use a reusable cup. These smaller benefits can make a difference over time.

There are also things employers can do. There is an increasing number of businesses which are being pro-active. According to the Living Wage Foundation, 10,000 employers in the UK have now committed to paying the Real Living Wage. At £9.90 for most of the country and £11.05 in London, this is higher than the mandated National Minimum Wage.

In recent weeks there have been multiple reports of companies pledging one-off financial payments to help their people deal with the cost of living. One of those is Love2shop, which has offered a payment to all of its employees.

And the company is doing its bit for the wider community by partnering with digital payment business PayPoint. This agreement will see both parties expand their product range to provide local authorities with a new way of servicing the most financially at-risk people.

Employers can do their bit to help

Love2shop is also working with businesses across the country to help them offer real financial rewards and incentives through its Love2shop gifting products. Given the broad range of retailers available on Love2shop, it allows employers to meaningfully contribute to their employees’ cost of living dilemmas if that’s how they choose to spend their gift cards.

As well as the ‘treat’ opportunities with a Love2shop Gift Card, it’s also accepted by more than 150 leading UK consumer brands including Sainsbury’s, Argos, Tesco, Wilko, Iceland, Matalan, New Look, and Argos. So people can choose to buy everyday essentials or for those little luxuries.

With the new school year about to start, a multi-retailer gift card could offer great savings on the price of school uniforms or other essential items such as school shoes or a PE kit.

This is also the time of year when we start thinking about Christmas. People could use their gift card to get a head-start and buy gifts in advance, taking away some of the stress normally felt in November and December.

Some employers may be able to negotiate cheaper corporate discounts with local car parks to reduce parking costs, or allow more people to work from home when practical – if the costs don’t outweigh the costs of going to work considering the rising fuel costs come winter.

There are tough times ahead but employers can make a big difference to the lives of their employees for a modest outlay.

If you can see how Love2shop reward and recognition products could help your business, contact our business team today. Email [email protected] or call  0344 375 0739.

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Turning The ‘Great Resignation’ Into The ‘Great Retention’

The ‘Great Resignation UK’ isn’t a new term that’s emerged in the last few weeks, it’s the worrying, new term that deftly describes the global response of workers to the Covid pandemic, company culture, wage stagnation and ongoing cost of living crisis. It is the précis for: a mass resignation, change of jobs, search for a new way of life, desire for hybrid working, better pay and improved job satisfaction. Welcome to the challenges of 2022…

In the US, it’s called ‘The Big Quit’, with Microsoft Work Trend Index (2021) saying, “With over 40 per cent of the global workforce considering leaving their employer this year, a thoughtful approach to hybrid working will be critical for attracting and retaining diverse talent.” In Germany last summer, over one-third of the country’s companies reported a staff shortage, while the UK reported more than 1 million vacancies were available. So what does this summer look like for the UK’s staff retention?

HR Professionals Are Feeling The Burn

Most professionals working in HR, recruitment, talent acquisition or in sectors affected by the ‘Great Resignation’ will feel the new pressure to understand how to improve their company’s chances to retain and recruit staff.

Love2shop has one of the UK’s best-selling reward and recognition platforms. In the last year, Love2shop has increasingly been approached by a raft of sectors to discuss how their gifting rewards can be used to galvanise remuneration packages to attract new talent (and retain it), or more recently, help recognise the cost of living challenges being faced.

Love2shop Retailers - Iceland John Lewis Argos Heron Foods

Through the enormous choice of retailers and brands on the Love2shop gift products – stretching from luxury ones like John Lewis for a ‘treat’ or essential shopping brands such as Iceland, Argos or Heron Foods – Love2shop can provide ‘something for everyone’. This allows companies to buy in volume but not limit anyone from finding something to suit their needs.

It also reflects well on a company when it allows its employees to choose. When companies reward with an actual product, (think bottles of bubbly or bunch of flowers), it means an essential food shop is out of the question – and that might serve employees better right now. Equally, you never need to know so they can do it with dignity – and gratitude.

Four Million US Workers Have Quit Jobs Since 2021

The gravity of the job situation can’t be over-emphasised; many companies, large and small, face very real challenges to business growth as a direct result of being under-resourced and unable to attract into their industry the right sort of people. In the US, for instance, over four million workers quit their jobs since the post pandemic reset began in 2021. And in some global sectors, the average pay has been forced to sharply rise making smaller companies less able to compete in the recruitment face-off.

Boost Packages And Attract Staff With Reward and Recognition

How do you compete in the smaller pools of talent? Or engage and support your employees? Are there internal conversations exploring how to help them during this cost of living challenge? Now is a good time to make some decisions about quick but meaningful fixes that will retain and engage loyal employees or galvanise monthly income as its value dwindles in the face of our economic situation. And if you do want ‘something for everyone’, please contact our business team – everyone’s a good egg and happy to walk you through ideas.

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What is customer acquisition

The crucial trick to motivating and engaging your remote teams

A year ago, a great deal of blog space was still being dedicated to pondering and postulating about home working. How will we scale security? Will employees be motivated at home? Will our company culture suffer? Will productivity take a nosedive?

A year later, those questions are going through a global stress test. According to YouGov, 38% of the pre-crisis workforce are now working at home. The interesting part is, they don’t particularly want to go back, either.

A massive majority of workers simply do not want to go back to the office full-time, according to some recent research by Okta. And that’s while the rest of the world slowly takes the shape of normality.

Eggs and flour are regular features on the supermarket shelves again, along with your favourite craft beer and wines. You can even pop out for a pint and see your friends in the park. But the country’s staff aren’t gagging to give up remote working.

What this tells us is that we’re past the point of adjusting to a crisis. The shock has passed, and most of us are pretty happy with this version of “normal,” at least when it comes to our work. That means it’s time to address one of the downsides of a remote workforce – isolation. Our company, Love2shop, have had to address this ourselves and find a way to make sure everyone’s engaged and motivated at home.

Not just the chat and banter, and the office friends. But the sense of camaraderie, company culture, and the feeling that we’re all contributing to something wider than the narrow furrows we plough. The one thing any company can, and should, do to combat the feeling that staff are plugging away in their own little world is communicate.

Communicate to engage a remote team

If it’s not too gauche to blow our own horn, Love2shop, have done a great job of handling the sudden dispersal of our teams. At group, department, and team levels, we have tactics to keep employees engaged and connected.

Group-level communications

Weekly round ups

Every week, Group and Human Resources put together a round-up of news and views from around the business and push it out to staff. That might include blogs written by people in our company, surveys to get opinions and feedback from staff about their work and their response to Group efforts, news on how the business is responding to COVID-19 developments, and any human resources developments that might affect staff.


Some of the leadership figures around Love2shop have been putting together podcasts talking about what’s happening in their corner of the Love2shop universe. That might be our senior leadership team fielding questions from the staff, our design managers talking about our latest product developments, or even just some stories of kindness to cheer everyone up.


Meetings are not the word that fills everyone with the sense of thrill and wonder, we know. But we’re not trying to blow anyone’s socks off, we’re trying to keep everyone connected to each other.

Weekly meetings

Weekly meeting are where department-level discussions happen. They’re where we talk about what the individual teams that make up the wider departments are doing, what projects are being delivered, and how we’re performing as a division against our targets. We also run through news, introduce new hires, and talk about what’s happening at Group level and how it might affect our day-to-day work.

Daily meetings

Our daily catch-ups give us a chance to see some friendly, familiar faces, talk about what we’re doing inside and outside of work, gripe about some things, gloat about others. It’s also crucial for making sure everyone is on the same page with their tasks.

Which is useful because one of the of the downsides of working remote is that it’s hard to just turn to someone and ask a question. It’s just that much harder to do that at home.

Having a time every day where you can ask some stupid questions to make sure everything is going in the right direction gives you a bit of psychological runway. That runway pushes back doubt and uncertainty, letting staff get through their work with confidence and satisfaction about their efforts.

Don’t let grumbling put you off

You might be thinking “everyone hates meetings though”. Which might be a fair point, but in our experience everyone’s still on time for them, which wasn’t always the case when they were face to face. And they still contribute.

We’d happily err on the side of having one meeting too many, one podcast too many, one email too many, than risk staff feeling like they’re twisting in the wind or not valued.

And ultimately, that’s what why communication and inclusion produces motivation and engagement. We’re putting every day, every task, every role into a wider context. Showing that other colleagues appreciate and depend on their work, and demonstrating that what they’re doing has value.

Cash-value rewards, recognition software, and incentive systems do work, but only prosper long-term when employees are motivated by more than a transaction. That’s why you need to embrace communication to keep engagement and motivation in good supply in the home office.

It’s not always fancy, but it is effective

The importance of talking and communicating with your staff can’t be understated. These are simple tactics, but sticking with them is how you’ll be able to communicate culture, talk about your values and make sure everyone feels connected.

Like we said in another blog recently, you can’t put this genie back in its bottle. We all know now that we could have done this before. It just won’t be possible to tell a workforce in the future that home working isn’t realistic. At least not with a straight face.

Baking these habits into your company now is how you’re going to keep, and strengthen, company culture and staff morale as you navigate the world during, and after, COVID-19.

As always, if you want to talk about motivating and engaging your staff, get in touch. We’re always happy to chat.