Byline: Daniel Bouwmeester
Images: Southside Flower Market.
Southside Flower Market has switched up its opening hours this year to give staff a better work-life balance, says owner Nicki Christensen.
It is part of a growing movement in Australia to reconsider the implications that the five-day work week has on employee health and wellbeing.
“Staff are seeking more meaningful work, not full-time anymore, and are looking for employers that can provide them with fulfilling work places and more of a balance,” Nicki said.
So how can a business owner meet all of their team’s requirements while still providing excellent service to customers?
“Shorten the work cycle days, and take a trick from the Europeans and stop for lunch as a team,” he suggested, recalling an experience at a Dutch software company in 2013.
“It struck me how amazing it was that the whole company dropped everything at midday, and they all went to have lunch together.
“I was amazed that businesses could pause collectively and it gave time for them all to forge deeper connections with their co-workers.”
“They also didn’t work any more than 38 hours per week and were closed on the weekends.”
“Last year, [we thought] long and hard about how we can be a better employer, while of course still providing excellent service to our customers.”
“Stopping for lunch seemed a radical concept at first. I mean, could we actually close the business for an hour and not lose all our customers?” Nicki asked, rhetorically.
“Of course we can! Not everyone comes in between Midday and 1pm. Okay. What about the work week? Can we close weekends? No, people need us on Saturdays…”
So the first compromise has been to close for an hour at midday: 30 minutes for a team lunch break, and 30 minutes for catch-up time for housekeeping or employee upskilling.”
And secondly, Saturdays have been shortened to a half-day shift: 8am to midday, enabling staff to “still have a weekend,” Nic explained.
Southside Flower Market is now open Monday to Friday, 8am-12pm and 1-4pm, and Saturday, 8am-12pm – at Unit 2/6 Carlyle Street, Slacks Creek. Visit www.southsideflowermarket.com.au or the online market flowerhub.com.au for more info.