Can agencies make a success of flexible working?
Drum featuring Co-founder and MD of AgencyUK Sammy Mansourpour: “I think the key words are flexible culture, not flexible working. Culture is far more embracing than just working hours spent in an office.
At AgencyUK, we have always had a disdain for the clock in clock out factory life. We don’t pay people to put in 9 to 5. We reward them for results, and that is mostly about them being there for our clients. So we developed a wellbeing programme for all our staff. This encompasses how they work as individuals, in teams and alongside our clients.
We used this as an opportunity to measure how our people work in a variety of situations, and this varied a lot depending on their craft. Strategists, creatives, developers, journalists and client services folk may all work together, but don’t always party together – and that’s been the age old challenge for agency leadership teams. So by first understanding how they perform best, we were able to facilitate a programme that was flexible to their needs, giving our people the alone time and team time as and when they needed it. It has, so far, improved collaboration yet reduced meetings. It supports more time out of the office, and yet facilitated more organised social events. It has supported a team effort when it comes to client work and yet it has given every individual a sense of ownership.
Our wellness programme supports flexible hours, remote working, flexible holidays, mentorship, social events, health, life balance, even a fruit bowel (and no more biscuits). Does it make us a better place to work? We hope so. Does it make us a stronger team? Definitely. Does it make us future proof? For a time perhaps, but as jobs evolve, so does work and the people that do it. We see our wellness programme as a journey, and as our clients grow, we grow and so will our attitudes to work.”