Part of global creative transformation agency WPP, Wunderman Thompson employs 20,000 professionals around the world, of which 650 are based in London. As part of their work with clients, employees can be based overseas on creative shoots, brand events and sports fixtures, with most of these assignments lasting up to a week.
To keep employees safe while they are away, the organisation has partnered with medical, travel and security company International SOS. Alexandra Cosby, people partner at Wunderman Thompson, explains: “Teams will have an initial briefing session ahead of departure but we also recommend employees download the International SOS app on their work or personal mobile. This can help them prepare prior to departure, as well as safeguarding their wellbeing while they’re away.”
The app features useful tools including a ‘know before you go’ checklist, which has alerts, risks, climate and culture awareness tips; a ‘keep me safe’ section, which highlights personal security; and a ‘keep me healthy’ section, with advice on vaccinations and local medical care.
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Once overseas, the app remains a valuable tool. “Employees can get immediate help and advice from security and medical experts either by chat on the app or through the dedicated helpline,” says Cosby. “They’ll also receive timely alerts and push notifications if any incidents occur in the country. This gives them clarity and peace of mind.”
As well as the service provided by International SOS, employees working overseas can also access the organisation’s employee assistance programme, which is provided by Telus Health, or speak to someone on the people team. “We’ll always be prepared to communicate with our team, regardless of time zone, should they need it,” adds Cosby. “No matter the location, it’s our duty of care to safeguard, protect and support them in their business travels so they can focus on producing inspiring work and enjoying the local customs and culture.”