Flexible working officially arrives at Publicis Groupe across the UK

Flexible working officially arrives at Publicis Groupe across the UK

Last week, Annette King, Publicis Groupe UK CEO, announced formal flexible working changes to the entire UK group of agencies, which includes MSL among its advertising, media, digital and technology consultancies.

According to Timewise, almost nine million UK workers want more flexibility for a better work-life-balance, but don’t currently have the option. Could it be that employers and society also stand to benefit from a more flexible approach?

Taking flexible working to the next level at MSL

Publicis Groupe have identified six core behaviours that it thinks will make the new flexible working scheme a success. You can view them here in the recent article in PR Week about the changes in the UK.

Here at MSL we’re particularly pleased, as flexible working is something we've offered for several years but have, until now, seen mixed take-up.

Subhani Rawat, Head of People, MSL. 

“Many of us are facing the work-life balance challenge. We’ve found, historically, that only people with specific requirements have requested flexible-working, but we want to encourage a flex strategy that accommodates everyone’s needs. We want to create an environment that ultimately empowers everyone to do their best and enhances their wellbeing. This is about working in an agile way and accommodating all types of needs – those who seek to avoid long commutes or who are trading family time for work. This move from Annette King is a clear signal that the whole organisation is taking work-life balance seriously and we’re excited to be on this journey”.

MSL will be providing training around the new programme for all staff and new starters to make sure everyone has the ability to get the job done in a way that works for them.

Claire Hutchings, Head of Marketing at MSL

has been working flexibly since returning to work after the birth of her daughter, Florence, in 2017. “It’s essential that I can flex my hours in the office to navigate the logistics of nursery drop-off and pick-up. I also work from home on a Friday, which saves me two-and-a-half hours of commuting. This is proving invaluable for my work-life-balance. I try to save particularly concentration-heavy tasks or long calls for a Friday when I’m away from the open-plan office environment. This means I can be more productive for certain tasks. I really hope the formal roll out will give others the confidence to work more flexibly; you don’t have to be a parent! I can see that working in this way will be liberating for lots of my colleagues, no matter their reasons for doing it.”

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And 93% of Publicis Media employees agreed in the employee survey, which led to the larger-scale roll out across Publicis Groupe’s UK network.

The flexible fight

Flexible working is something a friend of MSL, Anna Whitehouse (aka Mother Pukka), has been banging the drum on for a number of years via her Flex Appeal. Since 2016, #flexappeal has grown from strength to strength, from flash mobs across the country to taking the fight to parliament. Mother Pukka is currently rolling out a programme using McDonald’s network of UK restaurants to facilitate one-on-one conversations with experts for people who need specific advice on flexible working. We’ve worked with Anna on our Renault #BehindCarDoors campaign and she spoke at one of our events last year about influencer marketing, so we’re now incredibly proud to be part of the new wave of employers outwardly open to ‘talking about flex’.

We know we’re a work in progress here at MSL, but we’re happy to be part of the solution and look forward to the broader Publicis Groupe formal roll out of flexible working on 2nd April.

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