Grey New York offers four day week in another sign of agencies trimming in tougher times

WPP’s Grey New York is launching a “reduced workweek program” allowing staff to work a four day week in return for 85 per cent of their five day salary.

Grey says this will give “employees flexibility and more free time to help balance work and personal demands while it allows Grey to structure and operate in a more flexible, agile, and efficient manner as we reimagine our agency for the future.”

Grey already runs Flexplace (work from home) and Flextime schemes.

Sceptics will point to the notion of reimagining the agency in a more flexible and efficient manner, with, if enough people take up the offer, a significant cost reduction. JWT New York, still embroiled in l’affaire Martinez, is also looking hard at how it operates in the future.

Salaries are by far the biggest agency cost and, with more clients hiring agencies on a project rather than agency of record basis, it’s inevitable that some of them will try to structure their businesses accordingly.

Senior managers and creatives are quietly (mostly) departing across the piece. There’s talk of a list circulating in London of agency bosses next for the chop.

WPP, which owns JWT as well as Grey, is looking for substantial cost savings as is Publicis, which announced recently it wanted to save €450m by 2020. Other New York agencies, including Droga5, have made redundancies recently on top of the growing list of senior creatives and others sacked or sidelined for alleged harassment misdemeanours.

Flexible, agile and efficient – the new mantra of all the holding companies – also means cheaper.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Cynicism aside, it’s a far kinder, gentler way of reducing costs than taking 15% of the staff out to the back of the barn and shooting them.

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