MasterChef contestant, Jasmeet Dial, says he was confident about being able to take part in the UK’s biggest TV cooking show because his workplace, medical communications consultancy Synergy Vision, has a four-day working week in place.
Jasmeet, who has enjoyed trying out various recipes and cuisines on friends and family for years, was finally persuaded by his wife to apply early last year to take part in MasterChef. He found out that he was in the show last August – the same month he started a new job as Senior Designer at Synergy Vision.
Jasmeet admits: “When I got the call from MasterChef I was unsure if I should accept the offer as I knew the commitment would be intense and having just started a new job I didn’t want to let my new colleagues down.”
However Jasmeet’s new workplace had recently formalized a four-day working week after a successful six-month pilot had shown the flexible working initiative resulted in staff who were happier, less anxious and more productive.
Eileen Gallagher, Managing Director,Synergy Vision comments: “We were overjoyed to hear that Jasmeet had made it into MasterChef – it’s definitely one of my favourite shows. We encouraged him to use our four-day working week to create the flexibility to keep on top of his work and also to have the time for whatever MasterChef had in store for him.”
Jasmeet, who wowed the judges with his food that encompassed the flavours of India, said: “I’m grateful that I had a flexible working environment and a really supportive company culture, which helped me take part in one of the most memorable experiences of my life.”
In mid-2019 Synergy Vision formalized a flexible working initiative where all staff work 36 hours over four days, compared with 40 hours previously, for the same salary and holiday allowance.
This was decided after a six-month pilot of the scheme showed staff members strongly agreeing that they had a positive work-life balance more than doubled from 23% at the start of the pilot to 48% at the end.
The proportion of staff who said work intruded on their home/social life decreased from 65% to 45% and the number of employees working overtime dropped from 65% to 50%.
More over the number of staff reporting happiness levels of 7 or more (where 10 is the highest) increased from 70% to 97% and there was a rise from 12% to 51% in those rating their happiness at 9 or 10.