In a move that prioritises wellbeing in the workplace, one of Australia’s largest independent agencies Bastion has introduced Happy Days, giving all employees an additional annual leave day every day in months when there isn’t already a long weekend – and an extra half day off in months where there is.
A Bastion Happy Day is a day off for employees to focus on themselves, personal care, wellbeing and what makes them happy.
Happy Days was devised and implemented by Bastion Amplify, the PR and social media agency within the Group and was received so well across their teams that it was adopted as an agency-wide initiative.
Says Richard Chapman (left), CEO, Bastion Amplify: “People are the most important part of our business and Happy Days is another way we can show our support and thank them for their contribution to the business and the pressures we face in agency life.”
Happy Days kicks off tomorrow, Friday 3 September with ‘Super Happy Day’, when all Bastion offices will close for the day. In subsequent months, extra leave days will be staggered to ensure time critical work is delivered without disruption to clients or workflows.
The mental health initiative is being rolled out to all 200-plus Bastion employees across the entire business globally, including part time staff. Employees can choose their leave day but are encouraged to take it on a Friday to relax and recharge with a personal long weekend.
Says Jack Watts (right), global CEO, Bastion: “Our own research through Bastion Insights shows that the pandemic is creating profound mental health and wellbeing challenges for many Australians, and we know our people are not immune.
“Happy Days are a chance for our staff to take a break, relax and recharge. We know that’s more important than ever and we want to ensure that everyone at Bastion has the opportunity to focus on themselves and what makes them Happy.”
This is a long-term initiative that will continue past the current lockdowns.
Adds Watts: “Happy Days mean that every month, all Bastion staff will have a long weekend, and in those months already with a public holiday, it will be a super long weekend. We know right now, everyone needs a break, however once lockdowns end, we hope Happy Days are a chance for our people to plan mini-breaks, long weekends away and time with family and friends.”
The launch follows research findings in Bastion Insights’ latest Adapting to the New Normal report that showed seven in 10 people in Victoria and NSW feel COVID is significantly impacting their life, up from less than six in 10 people just three months ago, and that almost three in 10 Australians feel anxious most or all of the time.