How to improve flexibility in the vet workplace

Would you prefer to work more flexibly as a veterinary professional? 


The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has launched the #TimeForChange campaign to improve recruitment and retention issues within the profession due to staff shortages.


This campaign encourages employers to consider implementing more flexible working for their employees in an attempt to improve job satisfaction. 


Carry on reading to find out more about the importance of flexible working as well as how to improve it.


What is the importance of workload and flexibility? 


The British Veterinary Association (BVA) found that 44% of vets would like to work more flexibly and is encouraging employers to consider flexible working as a way to fix the progression’s recruitment and retention issues. 


Long working hours with no breaks can result in reduced satisfaction, motivation and retention, as well as having an overall negative impact on the health and wellbeing of team members. Flexible working, on the other hand, allows for a better work-life balance and more autonomy over how you use your time. 


Ways to improve flexibility in the vet workplace


Split shifts 


Split shifts are when a veterinary professional shares their shift with another colleague so the length of the shift is more manageable. This way of working allows for more ‘normal’ working hours and means you/ your staff won’t be burned out from long hours or lack of sleep. 


Have fair and anticipated working hours 


Being transparent with the work schedule means the whole team can plan their personal life in advance and won’t have any nasty surprise shifts sprung on them at the last minute. In turn, this will boost morale and likely improve performance too. 


Recognise and reward work outside contracted hours 


Showing your colleagues that they’re appreciated and valued, especially when they go above and beyond to work extra hours, is so important to running a successful practice. Whether it’s a voucher or a free day of holiday, make sure you share your gratitude in words along with the reward of choice. Furthermore, demonstrating your thanks for their actions may encourage other team members to take the same initiative now and again. 


Ensure breaks are structured and adhered to 


By taking regular breaks yourself, you signal to other colleagues that it is OK while encouraging them to do the same. Regular breaks are pivotal to both good mental health and productivity, as it allows your mind to relax and recharge. 


Accept requests for flexible working/part time working 


Be understanding about people’s requirements and where possible, offer flexible working or part time working arrangements to those who need it. 


We hope you found this article useful in understanding why flexible working is so important for the wellbeing of veterinary professionals. For further information or advice, please contact one of our dedicated agents on 0203 9784 104. 


As for the staff shortages, if your veterinary practice is struggling to fill a veterinary role, we can help you. Email [email protected] to get started!