Underscoring its ongoing commitment to team care and wellbeing, during and beyond the pandemic, Havas Village Australia has introduced be together – a reconnection initiative to enable staff to reconnect with loved ones for longer when domestic and international borders reopen.
The initiative, which reflects the Havas core value ‘Better Together’, gives staff from Host/Havas, Havas Media, Red Havas and One Green Bean the opportunity to work flexibly so they can be together again with those they have been separated from during two years of lockdowns, restrictions and border closures.
From Christmas 2021 to the end of 2022, staff can take up to one month out of the office, remote working overseas or in Australia, so they can spend more time reconnecting with those they’ve missed most.
“As an expat myself, I’m only too aware that border closures over the last couple of years have exacted a heavy (and at times devastating) personal toll on many of our team. Even those with family here in Australia have struggled with prolonged absences. At Host/Havas, we pride ourselves on doing whatever we can to take care of the ‘whole person’, so it’s an absolute pleasure to introduce this policy and start to get our team back together with their loved ones next year, near and far,” Host/Havas CEO Laura Aldington said.
Havas Media Group CEO Virginia Hyland said ‘be together’ was a key initiative she is proud to support: “The pressure cooker of prolonged lockdowns has meant that the needs of our team have changed. Together we are at the forefront of this change shift.”
“Collectively, across the Havas Village, we’re joyous in enabling our wonderful teammates to connect with loved ones again and experience worldwide adventures for longer, whilst still delivering great work for clients. We know that supporting each other to live our best life will bring team stability and motivation which always translates into powerful ideas for our valued clients.”
Havas PR Australia CEO Simone Gupta said: “We are entering a new normal, and employers have to work harder than ever to retain talented people. We have the opportunity to be flexible and empathetic to new situations.”
Staff were delighted when told about the initiative, with responses to the news including:
“Wow wow wow wow. This is awesome and such a great initiative. I can’t imagine how tricky this one would have been to plan and coordinate and it will make a massive difference across the agencies. Combined with the parental leave, half heights and the numerous other initiatives, this is gold standard,” Max Bennett, account director Host/Havas said.
“I just cried reading this email – I’m already envisioning the Love Actually moment at Heathrow airport when I get to hug my dad and my sister! Thank you, from my bottom of my heart, for working to make this happen!” Olivia Tilton, senior account manager at Red Havas said.
“As someone who has the bulk of her childhood friends and family on the other side of the world, the be together project is a true game changer for the quality of my life. It’s incredibly refreshing and inspiring to work for a company that backs with real tangible actions of their values, goes beyond words and demonstrates their people first culture boldly,” Maria Casas, head of content at Havas Media Australia said.
“Amazing. What a beautiful way to frame this initiative. Well done,” Anita Zanesco, head of new business Havas Creative Group said.
“Wow this is amazing! I’m literally about to book flights to the UK over Christmas (in the hope the borders open) so might extend this so I get more time with everyone. My Mum cried when I told her. It’s been nearly 3 years since I’ve seen them (sobs),” Adrienne Pearson, account manager at Red Havas said.
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