16 Dec A Sunny Day Policy: Why this Melbourne business is providing paid leave to enjoy a sunny day
One of the most unpredictable things in Melbourne is its temperamental weather; it seems Mother Nature provides the most beautiful days during the working week and then dooms us with overcast and rainy days on our much-loved weekends.
It’s for this reason that Melbourne-based property developer BEKL has created a progressive initiative available for employees, the Sunny Day Policy.
The Sunny Day policy allows employees to use one day of sick or personal leave per fortnight when the weather is warm and the sun is shining. This policy was created during the COVID-19 lockdown period to encourage employees to take time outside to recharge and enjoy fresh air, nature and feel a sense of relaxation through this difficult time.
Managing Director Katherine Liu said BEKL recognised the need to encourage and uplift their employees throughout the pandemic, and were inspired to create an exciting change.
“All of our directors are very active and health conscious but while working from home during lockdown, we began to realise that many of our employees were sitting in front of their computers for the entire day.
“When we worked from the office we would go for a walk or a coffee run together, so as a means of encouraging our team to get out more during the day, we introduced the Sunny Day Policy as a way to motivate everyone to be more active.
“We are also big believers in work-life integration and want our team to be able to switch off from their work, enjoy the outdoors and get some vitamin D when the opportunity presents itself,” she said.
Helping the BEKL team to become more active, the Sunny Day Policy promotes physical and mental health – particularly during such an uncertain time – allowing the team to destress and recharge by deciding on the day if they would like to enjoy the outdoors, rather than spend the day working.
The policy was originally introduced at the height of Melbourne’s lockdown when cafes, restaurants and other social spots were closed, meaning the only place to see family and friends was outside in a park. BEKL wanted to facilitate those interactions even further and the initiative was so well received that they’ve now extended it past the tough lockdown period.
“We also strongly believe productivity is boosted when our staff return and have been able to take the time to rejuvenate,” Katherine said.
Katherine said the initiative aims to pave the way for workers to feel that wellbeing in the workplace is taken seriously, promoting mutual understanding and positive workplace culture.