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The Business Magazine July 2024
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Lemongrass Marketing to move to four day week model

The Business Magazine article image for: Lemongrass Marketing to move to four day week model
6 March 2023

Lemongrass Marketing, the Bicester-based PR and content marketing agency for travel brands, has announced that it will be trialling the four day week for all staff with effect from 1 September.

Following the trial period of four months, the hybrid working agency has announced that it will be making the permanent move to the four day week.

Based on the 100:80:100 model – 100 per cent of pay for 80 per cent of the time, in exchange for a commitment to maintain 100 per cent productivity – the team at Lemongrass get paid for five days but work only four.

Mirjam Peternek McCartney (pictured) founder and CEO of Lemongrass Marketing said: “We know that studies have shown that happier, healthier staff are more productive and more creative. PR is a creative industry and you only come up with good ideas when you have headspace, so this will ultimately benefit our clients, while ensuring that they receive the same service levels and great results.

“We have all been though the most immense pressures in the last few years and as a business working in the travel industry it hit us hard, but we emerged stronger. We couldn’t have done it without the resilience and support of our dedicated team who went above and beyond. We are passionate about being a forward thinking, values-driven business and investing in and maintaining staff wellbeing and satisfaction. We strongly believe that this approach will be the future of work and I am delighted to be making this a permanent policy.”

Over the trial period Lemongrass evaluated client happiness and staff wellbeing as well as business efficiency and productivity on a weekly basis. Findings showed:

  • Team happiness is up at 86 per cent on NPS (measured weekly - over 80 is considered exceptional)
  • Client happiness has increased at 9.6 out of 10 (maintaining the same service levels and great results)
  • The agency’s EBITDA margin is up on forecast
  • Less time is spent on meetings which are now shorter, more efficient and more productive
  • There are fewer sick days amongst the team
  • No recruitment issues despite a highly competitive industry

Abi Best, Managing Partner at Lemongrass Marketing said: “We are on our journey to becoming a B Corp, and offering a 4-day week is part and parcel of this sustainable approach, making sure we look after our people as well as our planet. Having a day off per week means that staff can use the time to volunteer, do community work, care for elderly relatives, or just pursue a hobby.

“PR is a service business, and we are only ever as good as the communications experts we employ. We want to continue attracting the best and brightest talent in the industry and the 4-day week is a great work perk which we are confident will help us continue to draw in the best travel PR and content specialists, no matter where they are based.

“It’s no doubt that the move to the 4 day week model is a big financial commitment, and one which we have had to greatly consider. But we strongly believe that there will be so many benefits, not just to our valued employees, but also to our clients and the health of the business overall.”

Mirjam concluded: “As an industry, we can't wait for positive change to come from government. Instead, we want to lead the charge from the front, collaboratively. Hopefully, more SMEs like us at Lemongrass will see the positive impact that this operational approach can have across all areas of the business and decide to make the change, for the good of their people and their business.”


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Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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