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Saatchi & Saatchi HK Bark You Up initiative, video screengrab

How Saatchi & Saatchi gets staff to leave work on time

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Advertising agencies the world over are notorious for their long working hours, and these long hours are the number one reason employees in Hong Kong are dissatisfied.

But instead of falling in line with the status quo in the industry, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Hong Kong office has decided to force its employees to leave the office on time.

The company is mandating its employees leave office by 6:45 pm twice a month, forcing them out by switching off all the lights and air conditioning. Those who decide to try and stay back to work will be chased out – literally.

Prompted by a recent study on the environment impact of the overtime electrical usage, the initiative also hopes to discourage staff from burning the midnight oil as often as they currently do.

“To help save energy, and help agency folks get their lives back, we decided to champion a green-office movement, Bark You Up at 6:45,” said the company’s video announcing the new practice.

Working weird hours is bad for brain power
Hong Kong employees work 61 hours a week

The agency successfully kickstarted the movement in October and staff were reminded both offline and online to leave at 6.45pm, when all electricity was unplugged.

“For the stubborn few who insisted to stay, the agency gave the last warning. The staff would be literally hounded to leave, as the agency unleashed the dogs right before shutting the office for the day,” quoted the company, referring to mascots as well as real dogs seen in the promotional video.

“It’s a win-win-win situation,” said Alexis Chiu, managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi South China. “Cutting down on energy means the Earth wins. Leaving early means our staff wins. And with happy, efficient staff who produce better work, our clients win. That’s creativity at its best.”

The company plans to spread the intervention to its other branches, and has even challenged its agency contemporaries to join in.

Image: Saatchi & Saatchi Hong Kong 

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