Diana Marszalek 10 Dec 2020 // 1:00PM GMT
NEW YORK — Weber Shandwick is reshaping what going to work will mean post-pandemic through a global initiative that includes allowing employees to split their working week between the office and home.
Under the initiative, called Juice, most Weber employees will spend three days each week in the office and work the other two remotely, once it's safe to return to work.
Individual schedules will be up to employees and their managers and teams. And while the shift to being a hybrid organization is permanent, there are no hard-and-fast requirements around scheduling, as Juice aims to provide employees with greater flexibility.
“In the past eight months, we’ve seen a dramatic change in our work, our lives and how those two come together. A change that requires an intentional re-imagination of what it means to go to work,” said chief workforce innovation & operations officer Brian Offutt, who joined Weber Shandwick in October to prepare the firm for the future.
“Juice is our new approach to revitalizing how we work, with inclusivity and flexibility for our people at the core. It’s about supporting our teams and empowering them to make work and life work better together — which ultimately fuels their energy and creativity to deliver the best for our clients,” he said.
Juice includes other benefits designed to help employees through the continued strain of the Covid pandemic, and their ultimate return to the office.
This month, Weber is giving every account director-level employee and below $250 to invest in their remote offices however they see fit.
In the first quarter of 2021, the firm will roll out a global benefits program, dubbed Juice Bar, providing a range of services and options based on individual needs. Weber is already in discussions with possible partners willing to provide discounts on services from meal-prep and kids’ tutoring to stress management and pet care.
Weber Shandwick said that Juice was created in response to input from employees, many of whom said the difficult year has left them at once craving greater flexibility and more connection to clients and colleagues. In turn, the program is designed to be fluid as well, meaning new benefits, as well as communications tools to enhance collaboration and the like, will be rolled out in the first part of 2021 — and can be changed over time to adapt to employees’ needs.
“We’ve seen this year that we can thrive in a remote work environment. We can collaborate, we can problem solve, we can create,” said president and CEO Gail Heimann. "But we also crave being together and benefit from in-person interaction — particularly junior staff from a mentorship perspective. “This hybrid approach is designed to capture the best of both worlds: time together to build relationships, learn and create, and flexible, remote time to work in the way that is best for each individual. The data on this is clear — work is going to look a lot different in a post-pandemic world. We want to embrace that and take the lead in establishing a workplace of the future,” she said.