Trailblazer Paul Kitching applauded for work-life balance at Edinburgh’s 21212 restaurant

Work-life balance is integral to staff’s creativity at Edinburgh’s only Michelin star restaurant with rooms, Paul Kitching’s 21212, as it’s pioneering four-day week wins it a spot in the 2019 Timewise Power 50 Awards.
Michelin-starred chef Paul Kitching at 21212 restaurant. Picture by JANE BARLOWMichelin-starred chef Paul Kitching at 21212 restaurant. Picture by JANE BARLOW
Michelin-starred chef Paul Kitching at 21212 restaurant. Picture by JANE BARLOW

21212 have been labelled a trailblazer in the prestigious awards, and recognised in the Employer Award category which celebrates individuals who are championing innovation in terms of flexible job design and hiring practices.

The 2019 Timewise Power 50 Awards, from social enterprise Timewise, is a roll call of 50 people who successfully work part-time in UK businesses and stay at top of their game including Aibnb, Channel 4, EY and Theatre Royal.

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The awards were set up to challenge the perception of what flexible workers can achieve and have this year recognised 21212 for their introduction of the four-day working week in October last year.

Since the change, which didn’t effect staff salaries, 21212 has been commended across the industry for their approach to the wellbeing of their chefs and challenging the ingrained pressures of the kitchen.

Head Chef Paul Kitching wanted to encourage his team to spend time with their friends and family as well as use the time to explore new cuisines and culinary techniques.

He said: “Throughout my years in the industry, I have seen the effects that the pressure of the kitchen can have on an individual.

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“I believe that this stress is not conducive to a thriving and creative environment, so it is important to introduce an atmosphere to the kitchen that brings perspective and helps the chefs to perform at their best.

“Introducing a four-day working week was a natural step for us, and as a result we have seen the motivation and creativity of the team grow.

“We have encouraged the 21212 team to spend their extra day a week with their families and friends, discover new restaurants, go to the gym, eat great food and enjoy life.

“We’d like to thank the judges for including us as part of their list. It is great to see so many amazing organisations recognised for their hard work in making flexible and innovative work mainstream.”

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The restaurant is this year celebrating their ten year anniversary.

Timewise co-founder and judge Karen Mattison MBE said: “21212 is a trailblazer for modern work and what can be achieved when you think innovatively about work life balance, and represent how work in the UK is changing.

“The Timewise Power 50 List has become a beacon of hope – shining a light on what’s possible in the working world. And what’s clear this year, is that the so-called quiet revolution in the workplace has suddenly found its voice.”

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