Wednesday, December 08, 2021

15633: Inventing More Reasons To Hate Working At Publicis Groupe.

Advertising Age reported Publicis Groupe hatched a new initiative—Work Your World—that will allow employees to toil from anywhere on the planet for up to six weeks. The scheme also presents an opportunity for the White holding company to try justifying its wasteful investment in Marcel, the amazing AI doodad designed to organize the global workforce. If Publicis peons are invited to choose their area of employment, how many will quietly vote for WPP, Omnicom or IPG? Look for Work Your World search terms to include: Anyplace Far Away From Maurice Lévy.


Publicis Groupe Allows Employees To Work From Anywhere In The World For Up To Six Weeks


The holding company’s ‘Work Your World’ initiative is designed as retention tool for talent


By Brian Bonilla


Publicis Groupe employees will now have the chance to work from practically anywhere in the world.


Today the holding company unveils its “Work Your World” initiative, which it is calling a global employee-first experience launching in January. Through the program, Publicis employees who have been with the company for at least a year will be able to work from any accessible country where the company is present for up to six weeks annually. Employees will have access to work in over 100 countries.


Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Groupe, said the company has seen the need for flexibility like this after conducting numerous surveys regarding what employees expect from their workplace given the past two years and the impact of COVID-19.


“We have realized that flexibility is a necessity because you have to adapt to this hybrid world, but adapting is not enough,” Sadoun said. “Ninety-five percent of our people are actually interested in leveraging remote work to experience it from another city or country.”


In a video shared today across all 85,000 Publicis staff, Sadoun and Carla Serrano, chief strategy officer of Publicis Groupe and chief strategy officer of Publicis New York described the thought process behind this new initiative and how it works.


Through Marcel, the company's heavily touted AI staffing solution platform, employees will be able to pick a destination and view the health and safety health guidelines for that destination, along with important details such as the time difference between the destination and where the employee’s current team is based. Employees will also be able to chat with colleagues from that destination who can share more information about the country.


The program includes a “Home Swap Home” feature that Serrano likens in the video to an “internal and expanded Airbnb just for our people.” Using this feature, employees will be able to rent, host, or swap accommodations with work colleagues around the world, view pictures of a home and speak to their colleagues before making a decision. Employees will also be able to post videos and pictures about their experience in their new location.


While the timing might seem tricky given the emergence of the new omicron variant, Sadoun says the holding company will adapt as needed.


“We thought a lot about whether this was the right moment to launch an initiative like this given the emergence of another new variant and we realized that actually the right moment doesn’t exist as we will be living with this virus for a while,” Sadoun said in the video to his employees. “But we can’t afford to wait any longer to give you new opportunities to grow, explore, and experience fresh perspectives, even as we adapt to what is coming next. So to be clear, ‘Work Your World’ might be postponed for a few months next year if things get worse. But what won’t pause is our commitment to making sure that every one of you has the possibility to progress in this hybrid world we are living in.”


The holding company is currently leaving work policies up to local and national mandates. Its U.S offices are currently open and people are allowed to come in on an optional basis.


Sylvie Ouziel, CEO of shared platforms at Publicis, has been spearheading this effort since she joined in June, and she will be in charge of the program, as she is with Marcel.


The same way Marcel can be used to find the right talent for a project; which employees would be best for certain surveys; or even to recommend potential lunch partners for employees when they are in the office, the platform can be used to match employees with other employees or offices that best match their destination interests, Ouziel said.


While the company won’t be paying for employee flights, employees will be able to align their time in other countries with holidays or business trips. Employees will also have access to a 24-hour call center where they will be able to get in contact with an actual person to answer questions around visa obligations and work authorization paperwork necessary for working in a particular country. Marcel will also provide emergency COVID alerts for the country and if a health accident occurs, Publicis will help pay for treatment if needed, Ouziel said.


In an industry that has struggled to attract and maintain talent, especially in an environment where employees have relocated during the pandemic, Publicis believes the program will give the holding company a leg up.


“We think it will become a competitive advantage that’s unique to Publicis because we’re the only people that can do something like this, especially with the experience because of Marcel,” Serrano said.


“Our first priority is retaining our talent right now. What we’re seeing is our talent is relocating instinctively and this is us opening up that experience even more and giving them the freedom to connect. People’s lives have become kind of small. So if we can give them that experience of expansion and openness we think it’s absolutely a reason to stay and, and continue to grow and learn and be happy here. people talk about the future of work and, and we really think this one is much more future-ready.”


Sadoun will share more details about the program during an internal virtual seminar called “Viva La Difference,” taking place next week.

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