Jessica Goodfellow
May 29, 2020

Dentsu Aegis to allow Australia staff to WFH for rest of year

Move comes after internal survey found overwhelming majority of staff want to maintain the current work-from-home arrangements.

Dentsu Aegis Network's Perth office
Dentsu Aegis Network's Perth office

Dentsu Aegis Network will allow Australian employees to work from home for the rest of 2020.

The decision comes after an internal survey found the vast majority (93%) of staff want to maintain the current WFH arrangement.

It forms part of the agency's 'return to work' plan, as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease across Australia.

The plan includes a phased re-opening of offices across Australia from July, subject to any further changes in easing of government restrictions. Staff will be able to choose whether they want to work in the office or at home until the end of 2020, using an app developed by DAN’s technology consultancy business, Davanti.

The app allows staff to book or register in advance when they want to work from the office, which will help the company control building capacities in real-time and respect social distancing measures. The app also contains a wellbeing feature to capture quick pulse checks on how employees are thinking and feeling at any given time, which will be used to help inform DAN’s flexible working arrangements and decisions throughout the year.

Its what DAN Australia CEO Angela Tangas (pictured below) described as "organisational listening", which is "critical to having happy and contributing people", she said in a note to staff.

"It was important to me that all our people had a voice in designing what our future work environment looks like based on what matters most to them and their individual situation," she said of the employee survey.

She added that the agency has proven that working from home is "effective", with teams embracing virtual ways to support clients such as virtual pitches, innovation workshops, events and festivals.

“In many ways, working remotely has increased collaboration within our business and created an open teaming environment, enabling us to seamlessly bring the best of our capabilities together to solve client opportunities or challenges from anywhere. So, when considering our return to work plans, we thought ‘why change a good thing?’" she added.

Staff will go the office "if our clients need us to", she said, but added that she expects all businesses will be having similar thoughts and discussions about whether physical face-to-face meetings are needed.

Tangas said the agency is looking to make the app it has developed to manage the return to work available to its clients to help with their own plans.

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