It’s almost bonfire night and all I can say about October is, news wise, it was a blast!

Our press coverage team scored the most coverage we’ve ever achieved in one month as more businesses seek to manage flexible working.  It was a busy month for our absence management expert (and Commercial Director) Adrian Lewis in particular, with a diary full of press interviews (our Head of Marketing Lisa was quite apologetic for having booked in so much work for Adrian while he was preparing his keynote speech for the CIPD Annual Conference in November – oops, sorry Adrian!)

Flexible working has been a consistent topic we are asked to comment upon, not only because our software manages it so well, but because many of the Activ Team work flexibly as and when they need to, so Adrian can speak as both employer and as a software provider.

Adrian was asked give tips on managing flexible working, and these received coverage in Real Business Magazine and Consultant News at the beginning of the month.

Welsh digital tech magazine Tech Dragons also commissioned Adrian to write a piece on flexible working in Wales entitled Tech, Home Working and Daytime TV, and again, Adrian’s flexible working advice was sought by business advice magazine Fresh Business Thinking and in hi-tech magazine Smart Work.

Start up advice publication Start Your Business covered Adrian’s comments on a report from Working Mums that flexible working was being denied to many despite the legal right to request it, which was also covered by HR News.

Industry leading magazine HR Zone also quoted comment from Adrian on the flexible working issue, as did HR Director and SME Magazine Business Matters, along with news coverage of the HR Director piece  on Employers for Carers (for whom flexible working is a hot topic) and Talk Business Magazine

However, it wasn’t ALL flexible working!  In a second piece for Tech Dragons, Adrian wrote about the challenges for IT in using the right language when talking to HR people, and avoiding the temptation to use ‘geekpseak’.  The piece was called ‘Wales and the Candy Crush Generation‘, as Adrian praised the way that welsh people cut through the ‘buzzwords’ and tell it how it is!

Adrian was also asked for comment by HR News as the new CIPD report noted, somewhat depressingly that sickness absence rates in the public sector were double those found in the private sector.  It is a challenge that the Activ team deal with regularly, and one that we have achieved success in tackling.  He was also asked for comment on news that stress absence and cuts in the police force were creating a threat to public safety.

We were also invited to comment on whether technology could help impact high reported rates of long term sickness absence.

In other news, Katrina Green who is the HR Manager for our customer C M Downton was named HR News’ HR Manager of the Month, which was a popular choice with the team – well done Katrina!

Adrian was also invited to comment ahead of the CIPD National Conference on the CIPD’s view that another massive corporate scandal is almost guaranteed to emerge soon as businesses neglect ethics in favour of profit.  Activ Absence has a strong brand promise and as a team, we find it hard to support any ethos which would not place customer safety, security and service above all else.

If Adrian (Wales’ busiest boss) was hoping for a quieter November, the workload doesn’t look any quieter so his Head of Marketing is about to take up her favourite, apologetic hiding place under the desk, as the team prepares for what will undoubtedly be a very busy attendance at the CIPD Annual Conference in November with Adrian delivering that conference speech that I gave him so little time to write in November (and as I write, the coverage is continuing!)

Of course, as well as our press and marketing teams, when we have a successful month like this, we have to remember the rest of the team who had to deal with the flood of enquiries that came flooding in as a result!  I have to give a mention to Nikki, our National Account Manager who has worked so hard in securing lots of new deals ahead of conference and an even bigger mention to our office ‘angel’ Abbie, who always seems to have just completed what I was about to ask her to do (she is so psychic I may well be asking her to pick my lottery numbers!)

It’s also been a month of relentless hard work for our team behind the scenes, the guys that write the software, support our customers and give the commercial team such a fantastic suite of products to work with. I can’t single any individual out for praise, as they have all been terrific, they’ve dealt with our requests promptly, gave us the support we need and as always with a smile.

The Commercial team is looking forward to another busy November, but to every single person on ‘Team Activ’ who made this October so successful, a massive, heartfelt thank you!