Is less more when it comes to working hours?

Brighton agency trialling shorter working hours to deliver better results for charity clients

Austin Clark | 8th Jan 18
Default CDN Image Brighton agency trialling shorter working hours to deliver better results for charity clients

On Agency, the fundraising specialist marketing agency based in Brighton, is putting employee welfare at the top of the agenda – to see if it can enhance delivery for its charity clients.

Starting on Monday 8th January 2018, the business is giving an hour back to every employee every day, without reducing pay.

This bold idea was proposed by On Agency’s Data Executive, Benjamin Jarrett. Benjamin was inspired by his research into Swedish workplace trials, which found that by cutting hours it is possible to increase productivity, with staff ‘banking’ the benefits of more personal time.

Shorter hours led to an increase in staff morale, a decrease in staff turnover rates and added to employee happiness.

Christopher Nield, Executive Creative Directo at On Agency, said: “As a creative agency, we believe we’ll do our best work by making activities more focused with fewer distractions. No more pointless meetings! It’s precisely because we want to do a good job for our clients, while caring about each other’s well-being, that we’re all looking forward to making this initiative work.

“On Agency’s approach has always been evidence-based, and the evidence from companies like Toyota and Google shows that you can work fewer hours, be more productive and achieve greater job satisfaction.

“We’ve recommended that our charity partners test and test again, so let’s put our money where our mouth is and test this ourselves. What if being more rested or having more leisure time means that our team is even better at coming up with winning campaigns? Let’s find out.”


Positive impact

The Swedish trial was undertaken to understand the impact of a shorter working week over a two-year period. Results found that sick leave was lowered by 10%, as well as people feeling less stressed and more alert. Overall morale also increased, as it gave people the ability to think about their day ahead and take control of their own workloads, while also getting more personal time.

On Agency Director, Simone La Corbinière said: “The potential upsides were just too great for us to ignore. If we can improve our work-life balance while improving productivity and continuing to provide a brilliant service to our charity clients, that’s a win for everyone.”

To make this trial a success, the On Agency team will streamline daily work practices by cutting out time on social media, cutting down on the number of people attending meetings and cutting down on meetings themselves.

Making this progressive step highlights the new direction work life is going and On Agency are delighted to be one of the organisations leading the way by promoting a healthier and happier work-life balance. We will begin the trial in early January and run it for three months, monitoring the benefits and any unforeseen downfalls, before evaluating our findings. We’re looking forward to sharing the outcome of the initiative with the marketing and fundraising sectors.

Further reading: Find out more about the technology needed to boost remote working and measure its productivity by clicking here.