Real Estate

Agency’s bold initiative introduces 5-day week and flexible working policies for staff – Property Industry Eye

The well-known, North London, multi-branch agency of Martyn Gerrard Estate Agents has announced new working policies that they say are being introduced to ensure staff that across the whole business are supported and able to strike a healthy work life balance.

Faced with the ‘new normal’ of working practices shaped by the global pandemic, many employers are having to give serious consideration to changing how their staff carry out their roles.

The changes at Martyn Gerrard were developed on basis of the results of a staff survey in which employees were asked for recommendations and requests as to how their working life could be improved.

After analysing and considering the results, Martyn Gerrard Managing Director, Simon Gerrard ,worked with his senior management team to develop a suite of new policies that they believe will ensure their staff are fulfilled, motivated and able to deliver the high standard of customer service expected from this trusted family business. These include:

  • A flexible 5-day week for all negotiators and managers
  • Flexible working hours for office staff
  • One day a week working from home for admin staff
  • Reduced working hours for office and head office staff, with the day now running from 9-5.30

These new benefits are in addition to, and will have no effect on, each employees pay and benefits packages, meaning a real term increase in salaries of 10%.

The changes have initially been introduced for a 6-month basis, but if successful will be introduced as permanent Martyn Gerrard policy.

As flexible working patterns become the norm across many sectors, there has been a noticeably lower uptake within the property sector as many felt it unworkable with the hours required for home sales.

However the Martyn Gerrard directors believe that this will be offset by the improvement in staff welfare, morale and efficiency, as well as ensuring they recruit and retain the best talent.

Simon Gerrard

Simon Gerrard, the MD of the firm and a past president of the NAEA, said:

“Our businesses success is based upon the skill and dedication of our highly experienced teams, and so ensuring they are happy, fulfilled and supported is of upmost importance.

“We want them to have the opportunity to earn well and retain a healthy work-life balance – as a family run business, we know just how important this is.

“The response from staff has been overwhelmingly positive and will ensure our reputation for having the best talent in the sector continues.

“The property sector has a reputation for long or unsociable hours, and I would encourage leaders to follow suit and consider how they can adapt their working policy to ensure customers are provided with high standards of service without compromising staff welfare and morale.

“I am delighted we’ve been able to make these changes and know they will contribute to the long-term success of Martyn Gerrard Estate Agents.”

Following the announcement, many staff expressed their thanks, including this from David Mitchell, Assistant Sales Manager:

“I just wanted to pass on my gratitude to you for implementing the 5-day week and flexible hours changes to the working week from next year.

“It will make a huge difference to me and my family. I will be able to go to my son’s sports fixtures and pick my daughter up from school which she would love.

“It means a lot and it’s great to see that we are a forward-thinking company.”

Is your estate agency considering or already implementing similar changes in working practices? Can an agency function effectively with flexible working hours? Would similar changes to your terms make you a happier and more effective worker?

We shall be interested to see your comments on this story.

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