EXCLUSIVE: Media advertising agency MEC UK has seen its staff health and wellbeing, productivity and motivation all improve in the first year of launching its ‘Smarter Working’ initiative.
The scheme, which launched in June 2014 for its 560 employees, scraps the accrued hours rule and takes flexible working one step further by allowing people to work where they feel at their most productive and creative best for one day a week or five.
MEC’s latest employee survey results, published in June, found that some 91% of employees have reported an increase in a better work-life balance at the organisation as a result of Smarter Working.
A further 72% have seen an increase in productivity and motivation, while 90% of employees believe that the scheme improves energy, creativity and performance.
Clare Alger, director of people and culture at MEC UK, said: “Smarter Working is stage two of flexible working. We have created a change in culture to enable people to gain more control of their lives.
“It really helps our people personally and professionally thrive by working smarter, more creatively and productively to improve opportunities and work-life balance.
“It is great for maternity returners as they say it is very important to help them back to work while other employees find it a big motivator and a reason to stay at MEC.
“Our survey results show that Smarter Working has really helped improve staff morale, motivation and productivity.”
Staff turnover declines
More than 82% of MEC’s staff have worked away from the office in the past 12 months because of the introduction of the scheme.
Since the launch, staff turnover has also declined with MEC scoring an average of 19% compared to the 30% industry average.
The organisation, which is part of the WPP Group, has completed 20 training sessions with 350 employees to help them stay energised and productive.
Flexible benefits increase wellbeing
MEC also runs a flexible benefits scheme, provided by Aon Employee Benefits, which has helped the firm increase the health and wellbeing of employees alongside its Smarter Working initiative.
The company’s 2015 employee survey found that 91% of its employees feel that the benefits offered make a difference to their health and wellbeing.
Alger added: “I think what we do around Smarter Working and with employee benefits has an overlap. It has helped make an enormous difference to the healthcare of staff and changed the perception of working here.
“It is all a part of our global proposition ‘don’t just live, thrive’. It is this type of behaviour we want to encourage and want our people to adopt through Smarter Working.
“It is clear to see that more employers are trying to do this and it is on the board agenda.”