The Covid Business Series: What Works for Work? - Business Policies for Employee Wellbeing

Join Innovate UK KTN and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for this lively lunchtime session, where you will hear from and speak with experts on workplace policies for employee wellbeing.

Event Details


12.30 - 13.30



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What are the potential adjustments and modifications to workplace policies and procedures that companies need to support the work-life balance of remote workers?

Webinar recording is now available


Join us for this interactive session to explore the actions businesses can undertake to design flexible jobs and enable autonomous working for sustainable performance and productivity. Our expert speakers will be taking attendees on an exploration into the emerging procedures, policies, tools, and tactics for a variety of business workplaces; and will provide employers and employees with invaluable actionable insights that can be applied at work.


  • Dr Zoe Young, Sociologist | Half the Sky

Dr Zoe Young is a sociologist and leads the work design consultancy Half the Sky. Zoe is co-investigator of the UKRI/ESRC Work After Lockdown research programme with the University of Southampton, examining the impact on working-from-home under COVID-19 lockdown on workplace learning, diversity management and flexible working. Zoe works with large, complex organisations to develop learning and change programmes for leaders, managers and teams on inclusive leadership, everyday inclusion and micro-inequities, flexible job design, and managing hybrid/remote working. Her academic work focuses on women’s careers throughout motherhood and the influence of working time and location flexibility on opportunities. Her book ‘Women’s Work’ was published in 2019 and shortlisted for distinguished academic awards in the UK and US.

Talk brief: Working Well? How inclusive and flexible job design supports well-being at work

The transition to working-from-home under COVID-19 restrictions taught organisations and employees much about the conditions under which people are most productive, and the factors that undermine productivity and performance. Sharing insights from the ESRC Work After Lockdown project, Dr Zoe Young will explain why employee autonomy and control over working time and location became central to employee well-being at work, and what managers need to do to sustain employee performance and productivity through challenging times.

  • Dr Mina Beigi, Associate Professor | Southampton Business School

Dr Mina Beigi is an Associate Professor of OB and HRM at Southampton Business School and co-director of Work Futures Research Centre. She studies work-nonwork interface, flexible work arrangements, and understudied careers using in-depth qualitative methodologies. She currently serves as the Associate Editor of Human Relations and sits on the editorial board of multiple journals. Dr Beigi’s research has been funded by a number of institutions, including the ESRC, British Academy and Iran National Science Foundation. She is interested in sharing her research findings with the world of work and has extensive experience in working with industry.

Talk brief: Supporting Remote Workers’ Work-Life Balance

This talk will use the findings of a qualitative study among twenty-eight dual-earner couples with school-age children who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide recommendations for employers interested in supporting work-life balance of remote workers.

  • Susanna Harkonen, Registered Counsellor | Inner Work

Susanna Harkonen is a registered psychological counsellor with expertise in organisational and individual workplace wellbeing. Susanna assists organisations globally with her Inner Work programmes by developing structures and offering training and coaching that go beyond feel-good. She also supports stressed professionals around the world with their individual workplace challenges, and helps them take charge of their lives and feel better at work.  Susanna worked globally for the United Nation’s International Labor Organization, and had considerable international business management and executive level training experience before focusing on mental health and wellness at work. Susanna is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Certified Grief Counsellor, Autism Spectrum Clinical Specialist, and professionally trained in many areas including neuroscience, positive psychology, and Mental Health First Aid for organisations.

  • Prof Tim Vorley, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Business |  Oxford Brookes University (event Chair)

Through his research, Tim works extensively with a number of central government departments and agencies, as well as with Local Enterprise Partnerships and local government bodies. Tim is also currently the Vice-Chair of the Small Business Charter, created by Lord Young to recognise business schools that play an effective role in supporting small businesses and student entrepreneurship.

Who should attend?

This session is free and open to all, including industry professionals from across all sectors, researchers and academics.

About the Covid Business Series: What works for work? Webinar series

This webinar series has been co-developed and delivered by KTN and the ESRC. It aims to bring together industry leaders and practitioners with researchers and academics to discuss emerging procedures, policies, tools, and tactics for a variety of business workplaces; and provide employers and employees with actionable insights that attendees can use at work.

During this webinar series we will be exploring:

  • Flexible working models that consider when, where, and how people work
  • Organisational policies that influence employee wellbeing and productivity
  • Post-lockdown inclusive recruitment and job designs


Co-developed and delivered with:


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