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Flexible Working for happy clients and happy employees

AGCS is a fairly young company, our average employee age is 32, with our youngest employee at 26 and eldest at 39. We all work in the digital world, creating digital assets for clients and supporting with campaign implementation. We class ourselves as broadly ‘Millennials’ and we are 100% online.

Recently in our young and dynamic group of employees we faced struggles in the work place as different members of the team work on different projects and sometimes in very different ways. Overall happiness levels were dipping, which is not a great place to be.

So I started talking to my good friend Pete Clifford who runs a digital media agency in Sweden called Genuin. And his simple policy on how digital business can work gave me a great deal of inspiration to apply that policy to our own company.

Pete calls it a ‘People Policy’, or as other people would describe it. Flexible working.

The People Policy is based on 3 simple principles:

  • The company as a whole unit will only work in the office 2 days per week
  • As long as our clients are happy and we deliver campaigns to a high quality people may work where and how they choose
  • Members of staff should be contactable during business hours 09.00 to 18.00

In many ways our agency is late to embrace this way of working, but in the corporate world we are miles ahead. Working from home or a cafe should not be a privilege. Working as a team together 2 days a week should be a bonding and high efficient way of working.

We feel that letting members of the team work where and how they would like to will increase focus and increase happiness levels. Working remotely for 3 days a week will not be compulsory, our office will always be open and some members of the team are choosing to work in the office on all days, as thats what they prefer.

There are a few exceptions to the rule. For example if we have a new member of the team joining they will be asked to work in the office 4 days per week and be supported by their team members. Sales people in our company travel a lot, and as long as they have client meetings they do not need to attend the ’team days’.

Here are a few snippets from our people policy, first written by Pete Clifford and later edited by the management at AGCS:

Q:Yesterday I knocked a tooth out during a pillow fight with my best friend and I now have a dentists appointment at 10am tomorrow. I need to attend it, but I will have my laptop and phone with me – is it OK? Do I need to inform anyone?

A: No, as long as you are available for clients and can deliver your total hours, this is not something we need to know about. If you are missing a tooth, we may need to keep you off client video chats for a while though….

Q: Recently I have grown a massive beard and today I’ve decided to work from a cool hipster cafe in the city to see if they accept me or notice I am a phoney, do I need to tell anyone?

A: If you have no internal meetings which you need to attend in person, then officially, no. It might be nice to just let everyone in the team know over Slack. Enjoy your Skinny Flat White.

Q: My life goal is to always attend a silent disco at lunchtimes and so I would actually prefer to work 6am – 11am and then 1pm-4pm and shake my ass for 2 hours around lunchtime – is that OK?

A: As long as you believe that lines-up to your clients needs then it’s totally fine. We trust you to ensure it does and would only make an objection if we felt it was impacting client service.

I hope you enjoyed reading. I encourage you to embrace a people policy that works for your company.

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