By Sarah Eglin, Head of People Partnering, Stores, Retail Support and Logistics and Emma Johnstone, People Partner, Change Delivery
Today marks an important milestone for our award winning Night Club, as we share our latest research piece ‘A Manifesto for Night Workers’ with Parliamentarians, businesses, charities and unions across the UK.
What is Night Club?
Night Club is not just a shipping container, workshop, experience or installation, it’s so much more than that. Night Club is an initiative whereby retailers or businesses can sign up to continually improve the wellbeing and mental health of night shift workers.
One in seven people work nights in Britain and are essential to the running of our 24-hour society. But the latest research shows that issues around sleep and sleep health are having a negative impact on workers’ jobs and wider lives.
With multiple partners, Night Club is the award-winning initiative which brings together leading sleep researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester together with Liminal Space and the Wellcome Trust to explore ways to increase levels of engagement and job satisfaction among night shift workers.
After our shipping container toured across our depots, Angel Square and our leadership event meeting 8,000+ colleagues, this ignited a realisation at the most senior level in the Co-op that the challenges facing night shift workers are amongst the most serious raft of health and wellbeing issues.
What do we hope to achieve through our latest research?
Today, as we launch the research, we’ll alert Parliamentarians, policy makers, employers, and employee representative bodies, such as unions, to the genuine health risks facing night shift workers and policy needs to change alongside employer practices.
This’ll create the opportunity for the creation of a committed group of employers to join the Night Club campaign. So that they may too, access the tools and materials to bring sleep and circadian health information to their workers whilst making practical change to alleviate circadian strain.
Our research, highlights the ‘5 R’s’:
- Recognise night shift workers and champion night workers as a coherent group
- Respond to their needs – place night shift workers at the heart of any solution
- Respect and understand that they face a specific set of challenges in a variety of working conditions
- Research-led – build an evidence base- to implement evidence-based solutions
- Raise their profile and mobilise a cross-industry response to mitigate these challenges
We hope, through our research, we’ll be able to build our Night Club campaign and accelerate the scale and depth of its impact, alert policy makers and parliamentarians to the health challenges being experienced by a growing proportion of the population and provide a template for how to start addressing wider health and social issues.