What does it take to cultivate a truly inclusive workplace? How can employers better support the mental health of their employees? Listen in as we sit down with Julie Dennis, the Head of Inclusive Workplaces at ACAS, to get her unique insights on these crucial questions.
Julie opens up about her personal wellbeing practices, the importance of walking, the joy derived from spending time with her grandchildren, and its impact on her work-life balance. We also reflect on the significant role that the murder of George Floyd played in sparking a renewed interest in diversity and inclusion.
We move on to discuss a study conducted in partnership with Health at Work that emphasises the importance of early interventions to support employees' mental health. We dig into the issue of reasonable accommodations and how they can be instrumental in retaining valuable employees. We touch on the crucial role managers play in facilitating these adjustments and explore the new guidance ACAS has released on this front.
As we wrap up our conversation, we tackle complex topics, such as workplace adjustments for employees with protected characteristics and the rise in calls to ACAS regarding sexual harassment. We underline the need for inclusive workplace cultures, free from harassment and discrimination. We further delve into the importance of being open about menopause, viewing it through an intersectional lens, and how grief policies in organisations can be informed by Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).
So, are you ready to re-envision your workplace? Let's get started!
You can find out more about ACAS on their site at https://www.acas.org.uk/
Find our more about Wellbeing at Work's Global Summits, our Global Hub Community of C-Suite executives and our Bespoke division at wellbeingatwork.world
Hello and welcome to this latest episode of Conversations at Wellbeing at Work, the podcast from Wellbeing at Work World. My name is John Brewer, I am the Head of Content for North America and I'm the host of this podcast. You can find out more about Wellbeing at Work at our website, wellbeingatworkworld. We have a hub there. It's got a lot of great information if you're in this field, and also some masterclasses, workshops, that kind of thing, and also our main activity, which is our Global Summit. We're on those all around the world. This podcast features speakers at our upcoming events. I'm delighted to have with us today Julie Dennis, head of Inclusive Workplaces at ACAS. Welcome, julie.Speaker 2:
Thanks for asking me to join you, john, today. I'm really looking forward to the conversation.Speaker 1:
So am I. I'm also really looking forward to you're going to be speaking in Manchester, I believe in September. That's right.Speaker 2:
Yes, correct.Speaker 1:
So we'll get to see on the stage because I'll be chairing that event and I'm really looking forward to being back home or near home. As you can tell, I'm not from Manchester parts, but I'm from the UK, so it'll be nice to be back there. So before we launch into a discussion of your work and I always like to ask my guests how they're doing and expect an honest and frank answer to that question so how are you doing?Speaker 2:
I'm doing really well. Actually, life is good. We've been going through a lot of changes at ACAS, which has been really brilliant. We've got a new structure now through our operating model, so it's given us the opportunity to do even more and better things for employers and workers across the UK. And then, from a personal background, life is really good. The British weather could be a little bit better, but now everything's really good. I'm getting out and about being able to walk a bit, because that's one thing that I do for my own well-being. I've found that I live in a beautiful part of the UK. I live near the Peak District, which is in Derbyshire, which is right in the middle of the UK, and I'm very, very lucky that I've got the Peak District on my doorstep so I get the chance to go out and do some walking, and it's a really good way of clearing your mind, especially after a busy week at work, and being able to just get into nature and just relax. So yeah, life's good.Speaker 1:
Yeah, I think a much underrated thing in getting into nature. And just there's that whole thing forest bathing, I think they call it from that started in Japan, and it's not just forest, it's mountains and peaks and things as well.Speaker 2:
Yeah, and it's something that I discovered years ago when I first recognised my own well-being and mental health via anxiety and actually getting out and walking is really good for your mental health and well-being, so it's something that I've continued doing.Speaker 1:
Good, good for you. So perhaps you could tell us a little bit about ACAS and your role there, so we've got some context for your work.Speaker 2:
Yeah, so ACAS is a non-departmental public body. We fall under the Department of Business and Trade and we're governed by an independent council, so that means that we can actually provide an impartial service. So that service is something we provide to employees and employers across the UK and we advise on workplace rules, rights and good practice. We also offer training and we cover a wide range of employee relations issues, including courses that focus on a quality database and inclusion and well-being itself. So myself, I've been at ACAS for six years and that time has flown by and I'm currently the head of inclusive workplaces and this is a really new role in ACAS, so I've only been in post since the beginning of May and I actually head up the inclusive workplaces policy team here at ACAS and as a team, our role is to look at, you know, use our insight and expertise to influence employment policy and legislative issues relating to ED and I, including mental health and well-being. We also support our subject matter experts in ACAS who design our content to ensure that our guidance is reflective of ACAS policy and interests and supports that good practice and additionally, my team also supports our advice and business solution colleagues. So they're the team that provide workplace training, and also we have our customer solution leads who will go into workplaces and troubleshoot if there's an issue happening. And then, not to add to my workload, I also work alongside our people team to ensure that our voice on good practice is translated into ACAS as well, so making sure that we're a good employer as well. And apparently. I also represent ACAS externally, so coming along to conferences like the wellbeing at work. So it's a really diverse and exciting role really, john.Speaker 1:
Well, it sounds like it certainly keeps you busy and also I'm thinking it puts you in a place where you have a really good overview of what's happening across a range of obviously a range of organisations and obviously we're going to get into that a little bit later drawn in our conversation. But I know just here in North America you mentioned it's a recent role at ACAS in terms of inclusive workplaces that there was certainly this sort of rapid, quite dramatic growth and interest in diversity post the murder of George Floyd back in 2020. And I'm assuming you know statues being pushed into things in Bristol, that kind of number. I'm sorry I'm going to demonstrate in the UK. That's also been the case there as well.Speaker 2:
Yeah, yeah, we saw the repercussions of what happened to George Floyd across the UK, as did the rest of the world. So, you know, for me, 2020 was a really interesting year regarding inclusion. Like I say, I've been at ACAS for six years, so at that time, I was the head of diversity and inclusion, so still doing my external work, but also making sure we were getting things right in ACAS. And what was interesting for ACAS, you know, at that time you know, if we go back to March 2020, we saw a dramatic spike in calls to our helpline and visits to our website. You know, people across the UK, like the rest of the world, were struggling with the unprecedented change that COVID brought in. You know, it was bringing, you know, personal and financial uncertainties and people were getting, you know, anxious and they were fearing of, you know, losing people close to them. And you know how do I juggle all of this. We had a lot of homeschooling and actually we started to see a different side of people. And I think what I do find really interesting about that time is we started to understand how important, you know, non-work issues were impacting on workers. Now, before that time, a lot of businesses couldn't see the correlation of, well, what's happening to someone outside of work, what's that going to do with them being able to make the number of widgets? So you know, we were seeing from ACAS that lots of businesses were starting to talk more openly, especially around mental health and well-being issues, because they were having to support their colleagues. And also, you know those people that were having to work from home. You actually started getting an insight into their lives because they were working from home. So you're getting people on team calls and their children were coming along or their pets were coming along, or so you actually saw more of your colleagues, really of their lives. But I think the other thing as well that we were seeing in ACAS is, you know, if we look at this through the lens of disability, you know, first of all, disabled workers were being able to work from home where in the past they may have asked to be able to do that as an adjustment and the employers have said that's not possible, and then all of a sudden that was being enabled. So for me it opened this Pandora's box in relation to flexible working and being more flexible about how and where we worked. I think going, you know, we move on to them what happened in the summer around race and following the murder of George Floyd. You know, we, again at ACAS, we started hearing people starting to educate themselves. They wanted to find out more about race and racism and how it manifested itself in society. And, you know, one of the positive things we were getting was people start talking about their lived experience. You know, this is what life is like for me, and having those conversations and those conversations were coming into the workplace, whereas in the past they may not have, you know, colleagues may have worked alongside each other but not really know what was happening in their lives, so people were getting a better understanding. So I think, you know, if we fast forward to now 2023, you know we can see how, like I say, the last few years have really changed the way we work and it's interesting to hear that people are now wanting more flexibility in the way we work. You know, and when we look in the UK, you know the UK government are recognising that and, in fact, acas at this moment in time are currently we're currently consulting on a code of practice around flexible working that we've been asked to do for government, because there's this recognition that actually this is a new way of working out there. Employers are still struggling with it. I think as well. We've seen a greater awareness around mental health and wellbeing. So employers are seeing this more of part and parcel of ensuring they can create this great place to work. And there's also this expectation from workers that actually they should be able to bring their home self to work. They shouldn't be one person at home and then be this Borg when they come into the workplace. You can see I'm a Star Trek fan from that. But I think what I find really interesting around that whole concept is, you know, when you look at EDI now, I still see a lot of organisations that will say, hey, look at us, we've got a diverse workforce, we're ticking that box. But what they don't talk about is well, we might have this diverse workforce but actually those individuals are in junior roles or our retention rates aren't really good. We may attract those people but they're leaving as an equal numbers out the back door Because you know those individuals are coming into organisations and they don't feel they have the same access to promotion because they may not see anyone who looks like them. Or you know they feel that they're being prevented or they're being poorly managed. So they decide I'm going to go and work somewhere else. And you know ACAS we've seen numerous reports and research out there that actually highlight that. You know, underrepresented groups are more likely to experience unfairness in the workplace. So I think that's where what I think the key change 2020 brought was that I think people now are no longer putting up with what maybe we put up with in the past and they're expecting more from employers. And especially if we look at that through that ESG lens, you know we know the younger generation are being very selective of where they go and work. You know they're boating with their feet, and I think it's up for businesses now to really up their game. That diversity is not just about we need four of them and three of them and two of them and all we're doing really well. It's more about actually what's it feel like to work here. How valued do our people feel? And I think, again, when we look at well being, you know a positive thing that well being piece has moved away from, I think, pre 2020, it was let's have a well being initiative, oh, we'll have free fruit and we'll do a bit of yoga, whereas now people are thinking more about it in that bigger sense. What does that mean around enabling people to come to work and be themselves?Speaker 1:
Yeah, yeah, certainly. I've noticed here that the discussions around well being have moved from. You know what benefit are we delivering for someone who has depression and what accommodate? And we talk about accommodations here. I think your language is a bit different. Yeah, what accommodations do we make in the workplace, for them have shifted to you know what is? What is the culture of the organization? How are our leaders relating to our people? Are people showing empathy? What is the sense of community and belonging here? So you're seeing the same sort of those same sort of issues rising in the UK.Speaker 2:
Yeah, we are seeing those same issues, but you know there's difference between different organizations. You know we get a cast. There is a difference between those large organizations that have got, you know, a big HR department or you know, more resources, where they're thinking about that, whereas when we look at those smaller employers, you know they're still some of them are still recovering from COVID, you know, and they're still, you know, trying to keep the lights on, especially, you know, the UK would now have got the cost of living here in this as well. So you know we hear our helpline. We do hear different types of stories coming depending on the size of the organization and the sectors. So there is, you know, whilst we're seeing some positive things happening, there's still the more traditional stuff where employers are just not thinking about how they treat their workers and how they may have policies in place that may disadvantage someone because of their disability or because of their ethnicity or their gender, etc. So you know it's not a it's not all the same rosy picture across the UK. I think we've got pockets of those companies that are doing some really great work, but there's there's other companies where actually they have other other things and and they don't fully sometimes understand the business case when it comes to Diversity and inclusion and also well-being.Speaker 1:
Well, I'd like to chat a little bit about, about some of those, some of those, some of those calls you've been getting in the sense of you know what, what issues are sort of at the fore of people's minds, those issues where that, where diversity and well-being Intersect. But first, perhaps I did notice that you recently published some new guidance around reasonable accommodation, adjustments, that you call them adjustments. In you we do that accommodation, so apologize that. So what was? What is that? What you know? Briefly, what's that guidance and and how was that? You know what sort of advice you're giving to employers. How did you create that? Let's give us a bit of background on that. That latest update.Speaker 2:
So I'm really glad you've actually asked us about this new guidance because it's something I'm really proud that a cast has produced, you know, unfortunately, a cast. We are seeing an increase in calls to our helpline from vulnerable callers. You know, for example, one in four calls to our helpline now are people telling us that the conflict that they're facing as Having an impact on their mental well-being, and we're also seeing calls from People who are, you know, really struggling around that, that concept. And we're also aware, you know, in the UK it's probably the same cloverly but you know, many people have a really very long pathway to having their mental health condition diagnosed. And also there is such pressure on our wonderful NHS and we are so blessed in the UK that we have a free health service but it's, you know, it's facing so much pressure so people aren't getting the treatment as fast as what they'd like to. So because of that, earlier this year we published new guidance on reasonable adjustments for mental health and we did that piece of guidance in collaboration with affinity at Health at Work. And so before we did that guidance, we did some research. So a affinity at Health at Work did some research and they surveyed 611 respondents and 61% of those people they spoke to were employees who had mental health conditions, 32% were managers and 7% were people who were supporting employees with mental health conditions. And what our research showed was that the earlier you come up, things in place to help an employee at work Will increase their opportunity to stay at work but also, more importantly, maintain their mental health. And the other aspects of our research which I found really fascinating and not surprising, to be honest was that Managers are absolutely critical in terms of whether someone can access a mental health reasonable adjustment or not, or any reasonable adjustments, if I'm honest. And now, one of the things we do recognize a cast is that there's a lot of pressure on managers in terms of supporting staff in many different ways, and it's really important that you know we say to managers they don't have to have all the answers. You know they're not expected to be medical experts, and that's one of the reasons that we've done our guidance, because it provides an excellent toolkit for managers and it covers things like you know how do you respond as a manager when somebody wants to workplace adjustment, for example? So it includes things like you know how do you prepare for that meeting, to have that conversation with your member of staff Includes, you know, template letters that you can do in in relation to when people request An adjustment and how you respond to that. You know how, because, again, we recognize that sometimes what the individual wants and what the employer can do maybe two different things. You know there may be cost elements. So sometimes it's about coming to a compromise where actually, okay, well, we can't have this shiny, you know 20,000 pound thing, but actually we this, I'll actually do exactly the same. So let's see where we can, we can compromise. And and again, you know a cast. We, like I said, we know those early Interventions make a real difference. So we would recommend that employers put things in place early and have conversations early, because that just gives everyone the best chance, you know, to make those small changes on that ongoing basis. The other thing as well, what our research has found and what we know at a cast is, you know, adjustments can be varied, but they also should be viewed as a way to support and retain valuable employees rather than a challenge to overcome. I think a lot of organizations go, oh, we've got this adjustment to make, instead of going you know what? I have got this amazing member of staff that does some amazing things. What can I do to make sure they can do their job to the best of their ability? And I think if employers look at it from that perspective, rather than oh, this is gonna cause me a nightmare, you know, oh, if I give this person this adjustment, two or that, two, three, four other people are gonna want the same thing, and that's not always the case. So, you know, it's about looking at what's best for that person, and I think the other thing that a lot of organizations tend to do is they only start having the conversation around workplace adjustments, or reasonable adjustments, when Someone's been off sick and we're trying to get them back to work. But actually what we want to do is we want to prevent those workers going off in the first place. So hence the early part. So it's. It's about, I think, sometimes people thinking out of the box and thinking do you know what we can make a couple of adjustments here, and actually some of them may only be temporary, for a week or two, to give that person some breathing space so they can reach out or practice the tools They've got in place, or maybe they've got a flare-up for the symptoms, so they need to access medical care. And you know, for me this research was interesting because, like I said at the beginning, you know I I have I live with anxiety. I got diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder back in 2019 and I was really lucky because I work at ACAS and one of the adjustments that ACAS put in place for me was they gave me the time to go and have CBT treatment and that enabled me to stay at work. But what it also did it wasn't just the fact that I was able to go and have the treatment and tackle things from years ago. I felt so valued by ACAS. I wanted to give my best. I felt that, you know, I'm gonna show this organization how valued I feel and so, again, from a a well-being point of view, that helped me so much because the pressure was off. I wasn't sat there thinking I'm going to lose my job. I don't feel valuable. It was very loud and clear from my managers at that point that we want you to get better and we want the best. You have to be able to do your best. That was something very, very small that ACAS had to do for me, but again on our website we've got quite a few good case studies that people can read, where employers have put small changes in place. Some of them they've put big changes in place but it's enabled those workers to stay at work and be fantastic employees.Speaker 1:
We'll put a link in the description of the podcast so people can access that. As you're describing that your own situation and that more generally, that really does tie in with what you said earlier about people bringing people's whole selves to work. I think as an employee's point of view, if they see their people as whole people, making those kind of adjustments seems less onerous, of course, rather than in a strict kind of work person and outside work person.Speaker 2:
I think as well. I'm quite open. I recognize that not everybody feels comfortable talking about their mental health or any other condition, but for me, I recognize I'm in a privileged position here. I hold the role I do at ACAS as head of inclusive workplaces. I'm also a senior leader in ACAS. I think by me speaking out about how this has impacted me. But actually look at me, I've reached a senior level in this organization that enables other people to go. It's actually safe to speak out. Actually, I can see that it hasn't stopped Julie getting where she wants to go and yeah, it's been a rocky path to get where I have, but actually it's about that. We're all normal and I think again from an EDI point of view, I see a lot of people in organizations that they look above them. They can't see anyone who looks like them. But actually when they start talking to senior leaders and actually find out more about them, they'll find that a lot of senior leaders have probably had quite a rocky path to get where they are. And I think there's sometimes this perception that it's all being easy to get where you are and I think by senior leaders being authentic and showing their vulnerability, I think that empowers other people to go. Actually, yeah, I can do this, I can do that and again, from a well-being point of view, they feel safe.Speaker 1:
Yeah, it's a challenge. I mean there aren't a lot of very senior leaders who speak openly about this. In Canada last year at the summit we had a woman. She's the CEO of a camera chain that's quite well known and they consistently win lots of sort of best small business in Canada awards, best managed organizations, and she's got. She has bipolar disorder and she speaks very openly about that. I couldn't find anyone any other CEOs as such. So I think it's a challenge because they should be speaking more about these things. So, while we have some time left, one of the things I wanted to do was talk about some specific issues. So, as you're sort of looking at the landscape, you're getting all these calls coming in, very much focused on DEI and well-being, where those things cross, as it were. I mean, can you maybe share a couple of the issues, that maybe two or three issues that are coming up fairly consistently, or and what kind of response you're offering to people who come to you looking for advice?Speaker 2:
So, in terms of people who are calling our helpline, 10% of the calls to our helpline are people that are phone and all telling us they believe they have faced some form of discrimination in the workplace. Now, some of those calls will also be employers phone and us up saying we don't want to discriminate but so they're the good employers because they're actually reaching out to ACAS and going. We want to get this right. But when we're looking at employees, you know out of those calls will have people phone and us and when we look at those 10% of calls, half of those calls are in relation to disability discrimination. So there will be people who believe they're being treated less favoured because of their disability or an employer phone and us. And one of the common themes we're hearing is this failure to put workplace adjustments in place or the length of time it takes to put workplace adjustments in place or not recognising that actually, once you've put workplace adjustments in place, actually it can take time to get them to bed in and for performance to improve. So we hear calls about that. When we look at other protected characteristics, you know unfortunately we've seen an increase over the last few months in calls around sexual harassment. Now, one of the reasons we think that's happening is there's been a lot of commentary. Thank you out there in the UK, so quite high profile cases around sexual harassment, and so I think people are seeing that and then actually identifying that behaviour that's happening to them and therefore they're reaching out to ACAS to find out what steps they need to take and what our Helpline advisors do, because we have to be impartial they will sign, post that call or two. You know the kind of steps they could take. So if that individual hasn't raised the issue up within their organisation, then the first step is well, have you spoken to your land manager? Have you spoken to someone? Have you tried to deal with this informally? Because, again, our research at ACAS shows that when we look at workplace conflict, it's a lot better to try and resolve it informally than do it formally. Obviously, we will have call us that will say, well, I've tried that and nothing's happened. So then it's advising them. So, have you use your internal processes? And these are the steps you need to use. So what our Helpline advisors do? They won't say, oh yes, we believe you're being discriminated against or they need to be really impartial. It's about, well, these are the things that you need to do, and they will sign, post them to guidance on our website or tools, and so then that individual can go back to their employer and say this is what I've been advised. This is some good practice. So you know we get a variety of rules around that. I think again, when we're looking at stuff around culture in an organisation, you know, like I was talking about earlier on, about those organisations that are doing what they think they're doing really well in EDI, but they're not looking at creating this inclusive culture and having this workplace that's free from harassment, bullying and discrimination, and I think that's something that sometimes gets missed with organisations. And I think that's where actually EDI and well-being work so well together, because it's about again looking at the whole person and looking at that also through that intersectionality lens. So, for example, if we look at gender equality again, you know we're seeing in the UK a lot more organisations talking more openly about menopause. You know it was something that people just never talked about. People didn't think it was relevant, whereas, as now, employers are recognising that. Actually, you know, we are losing so many workers that have had to leave the workplace because they are experiencing menopause symptoms and actually through having those conversations and putting again those small adjustments in place, they're enabling to retain those workers. But the other good practice we're seeing is, you know those organisations that they're not just having those conversations with women, they're actually talking to everybody in the workplace because they recognise that partners you know we're working their organisations that will have a partner that could be going through the menopause and that can have a knock on effect on their ability to perform well because they may have not had a good sleep the night before because their partner is going through the menopause. I think the other thing that's one when we look at it from that wellbeing point of view is looking at that intersectionality in terms of. So, again, if we take menopause as an example, well, what does that look like in terms of menopause and ethnicity? You know, we know that there's certain cultures that actually they don't even have a word for menopause, let alone talk about it. So actually, how do you get those workers involved in that conversation? When we look at menopause and disability, you know, we know there are different conditions that actually may result in the menopause being a completely different journey for that individual than for someone who didn't have that disability. So again, it's getting those organisations to look at that whole piece and not going. You know, well, we've done all this stuff on menopause, but actually I think one of the criticisms at the minute in the UK is there's a lot of amazing stuff out there on menopause, but it seems to still be focused on white middle class women or office-based women. And the great work that we're seeing, that's happening now, is that different sectors are looking at that and also they're looking at it through this intersectional lens of so what does that mean in relation to race, etc. Etc.Speaker 1:
Which really gets down again to, you know, linking about that whole self to work. You know, seeing people, as you know, complex individuals who sort of have sort of multi-dimensional determinations around their wellbeing rather than sort of a one-side. And as soon as I had the discussion, the last session I had was around grief with someone from Hospice UK and again, where you get these sort of policies that are sort of around you know grief, which is, you know, you lose this, you get this far, you know, not an inability of organisations to really address the complexities of each individual's, person's life. That's obviously, you know, bit of a challenge in many ways, but it's a really good example, john, you know, because if you look at you know, most policies will have a bereavement policy, Most organisations will have a bereavement policy, and it'll be.Speaker 2:
You get X amount of days if it's this person and not so many days if it's this person. But you know, again, from that EDI point of view, what we're seeing is those good organisations will recognise that. Well, what if the individual at work they've lost their parent or a close relative, but actually they're in another country? So actually that normal period will not help. So again, it's about flexing a bit and it's using all the other methods to enable that person to deal with that circumstance. And I think you know grief's a good one, because we all deal with it differently, don't we? And there's no rule. So, again, when you looked it from that EDI point of view, there will be some specific things to do with that person's personal circumstances, but it doesn't mean that well, just because that person's from this particular group, they'll deal with it this way, because we're all. We're all unique, aren't we?Speaker 1:
We're all different, and I think that demonstrates how you know diversity isn't about you know creating. I mean we all benefit from greater diversity and greater inclusion organisations because we all have our individual needs that need adjustments, accommodations, understanding, action.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I mean, I was speaking at an event yesterday about disability and one of the speakers there gave the perfect example of how we all benefit. You know accessible doors. You know accessible doors in the UK will put in place as part of disability legislation, but actually we all benefit from that. When we go shopping, if we've got loads of bags, we can use the accessible doors. Or, you know, I think about me as a mother. I was a mother of a young child 30 years ago. Accessible doors that have been fantastic for me to be able to get the push share through, you know, without having to push things with, you know, the back of my body. So you know that's a change. But actually accessible doors do not disadvantage anybody. They advantage everybody. And I think that if we look at you know, when we look at anything to do with diversity, it's about this change. Here we're aiming it to help this group, but actually the majority of people benefit from that.Speaker 1:
Yeah, yes, and that you know that lens gets applied when it's you, when it's a different thing, different accommodation or adjustments needed. Well, I'm afraid we have to almost close there, because we're I'm so looking forward to I was looking forward before we started this call to sharing the stage with you in Manchester in a couple of months, and certainly even more so. Now to continuous conversation. You rather preempted my final conversation, my final question in your opening, but which is really, you know, I'd like to just have my guests close with the one thing they do, that that helps them maintain their wellbeing, and obviously you mentioned walking. So is there anything else that you engage in that you'd, you know, you see as being really essential to your own wellbeing?Speaker 2:
Yeah, so the one major change I made to my life when I came back to work after having to take time off in 2019 was I changed my working pattern, and there was two reasons I did that. So the first one was for my own wellbeing, so I went to a compressed working week and I worked four days full time over four days. But the other reason that I wanted to change my working pattern was my daughter was pregnant and, again due to the cost of childcare in the UK, I wanted to be able to help out. So one of the things that also helps my wellbeing and keeps me young is I look after two amazing grandchildren. I'm so blessed I have two grandchildren. One is four this year and one is just over one. So looking after two toddlers two boy toddlers keeps me on my feet, keeps my brain going. They never fail to amuse me with what they say and, yeah, it makes me realise this is what life's all about. So, yeah, they're really good for my wellbeing as well.Speaker 1:
Sounds great. So thank you so much. I really appreciate you joining us today and I say we'll see you in a couple of months in Manchester, and hopefully the weather will be nice for us there, who knows right.Speaker 2:
Let's hope, and I'm so looking forward to meeting you in person, john, and thank you for asking me to join you today.Speaker 1:
Okay, thank you so much. Thank you Bye.