Coming from a corporate background managing promotional marketing campaigns for global conglomerates, it was very rare that we (Carla & Lana) worked less than 50-60 hours a week in our last jobs. Both of us became caught up in the rat race and began to experience the detrimental effects of work-related stress due to the lack of a healthy work-life balance.
When forming Carlana Marketing (Now Koala Digital), we made a promise to each other that when it came to employing staff we’d ensure that they’re rewarded with all the perks that we’d always wanted but never experienced and ensure that Koala Digital is a fun place to be. One of the first things we created when starting out was our tone of voice and brand values. The tone of voice we use is a powerful way to express our brand identity and the people behind the brand. It should always reflect our brand values:
- We love people – we always put them first
- We are fun – at Koala HQ, every day is different
- We become your brand – we go above and beyond to learn your culture
- We are competitive – our services are always good value for money
- We are professional – people trust us to do the job properly
To this day, we still believe in these values. We’re sure that if you speak to our employees and clients, they will say the same.
Why are we writing about this? Because we want you to know about our company culture and hopefully it will explain how it affects the running of our company and client management.
“If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”. – Richard Branson
A quote that is commonly referenced, yet very hard-hitting and true. A huge influence on our brand value “We love people – we always put them first.”
This value, in particular, is what helped form our company culture.
4 Day working weeks
A 4-day working week!? Erm yes, please!!
Shhhh! We’ve actually been open only 4 days a week for a long time now, we just haven’t told you! Has it affected our working relationship? Has it created any concerns? Not that we’re aware of?
Microsoft recently tested out a four-day working week in its Japan offices and found as a result employees were not only happier – but significantly more productive.
Happy employees make us happy 🙂
Working longer doesn’t necessarily mean working better and evidence suggests workers are more focused and productive by benefiting from an extra day off. The extra day off also helps employees’ mental health.
“We love people – we always put them first” – Koala Digital
Another success story comes from Perpetual Guardian in New Zealand. After switching to a four-day working week, they reported a 20% gain in employee productivity, 27% reduction in work stress levels and a 45% increase in work-life balance. This helped them make the easy decision of making the policy permanent. Netherland’s average weekly hours are around 29 hours and even the UK Labour party adopted the four-day work week as an official policy this year.
We’re pleased to announce that we’re now also officially making this public and our office opening times are now Monday – Thursday 9am-5pm. It may not work well for all industries or marketing companies however it’s proven to work well for us and we’re excited to officially make this a permanent part of our policy.
How will this affect our clients?
Fortunately, as company Director’s we’ve had a large involvement in our business strategy and the decision making of who we work with falls on us. When we left our previous roles we decided to leave behind the types of services and clients we prefer to not work with. It’s very rewarding working with the independent businesses, the challenger brands, the household brands that allow us to become an extension of their business. We really love to understand our client’s company culture so it’s as if we work for them directly.
“We become your brand – we go above and beyond to learn your culture.” Koala Digital
Being in charge of our own destiny we can decide what tasks we commit to and what type of jobs we take on. This, therefore, means we don’t need to set websites live Christmas Day or Midnight on NYE. Another policy that we’ve implemented is close-down for Christmas. We want our staff to be able to enjoy their well-deserved time off over the Christmas period.
What about client communication? Well, we suppose that’s part of the role of Company Director? Our landline diverts to our mobiles and our clients have access to mobile numbers too, so we’re only ever a phone call or text away. Although we feel very strongly about our company culture and our 4-day working week, we also know that our client’s needs are as important which is why our ‘flexi-time policy’ also comes in handy. We allow our staff to ‘bank hours’ (if they wish) with the benefit of taking time off in lieu. If we know a client needs us to work on a particular Friday, then we will be more than happy to arrange staffing and projects to suit their needs. If we’ve got a promotion going live on a Friday or weekend then approval will sit with us as Directors as we wouldn’t expect our staff to have to work weekends. We will always get stuck in and our hands-on approach will always be known.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed hearing about our company culture and putting people first. We’d love to help answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us, if you’d like to discuss this further.