The importance of workload and flexibility
Long working hours and a lack of breaks have been highlighted as major issues across many types of veterinary work. This culture can have a negative impact on team members’ health and wellbeing and lead to reduced motivation, satisfaction, and retention.
As a profession we need to challenge the notion that ambition and success are linked to long hours, instead focusing on creating an efficient and effective vet-led team
How to improve workload and flexibility in veterinary workplaces
Everyone should recognise the importance of personal time, and not feel guilty for leaving on time. The nature of the profession means that unexpected long hours may occur, but this should be infrequent and genuinely unforeseen.
Flexible working is a crucial part of achieving a better work-life balance, and the pandemic has resulted in a greater recognition of how veterinary teams can work more flexibly. Consider how you can cater for flexible working in your workplace.
- have fair and anticipated working hours, recognising and rewarding work above contracted hours;
- ensure regular breaks are structured, protected, and adhered to;
- support requests for flexible working wherever possible, from all team members, regardless of the reason for their request; and
- delegate work effectively within a team to create fulfilling roles for all team members.
Read pages 29 to 37 in our position on good veterinary workplaces, to equip yourself with a better understanding of the key issues related to workload and flexibility, and how you can help.
Watch the recording of our webinar on health and wellbeing with BVA Senior Vice President Daniella Dos Santos and Head of VDS Training Carolyne Crowe.
BVA Senior Vice President Daniella Dos Santos and Carolyne Crowe from VDS Training led the discussion for the first in a series of Good workplaces webinars. They explored workload and flexibility in the workplace and shared their thoughts on working hours, breaks, flexible working, and delegation in a good veterinary workplace. Watch the recording for practical tips.
- Vet-led team - Effective delegation of work can impact job satisfaction within the veterinary team. Our vision is for the vet-led team to use a 'hub and spoke' model that will benefit both the veterinary workforce and animal health and welfare
- BVA sample workforce agreement guide
- VetLed HALT campaign
- RCVS advice on Schedule 3
- RCVS ‘SUPERB’ checklist poster to assist Schedule 3 delegation
- Flexible Working - know your rights by Law Express
- We need to talk about lunch! by Robin Hargreaves
- Finding time to pause in a pandemic: the VetLed HALT campaign by Cat Auden
- Experiences outside the day job - the 'cement' of my career by Gudrun Ravetz
- The art of delegation by Jo Oakden
- Tweaks and tetris: Flexible working by Leigh-Anne Brown