Birthdays and half Fridays off at Redwood

Grainger: wants to motivate staff

Journalists working for customer magazine publisher Redwood are to get Friday afternoons off during the summer and their birthdays.

Redwood, which publishes titles for Reuters, M&S and Harvey Nichols, announced the perks as part of new initiatives designed to attract top staff.

Journalists will be able to switch off their Macs and go home at 3.30pm on Fridays instead of 5.30pm over a 10-week period this summer.

They will also be allowed to take birthdays off with full pay and staff who have been with the company for more than four years will be entitled to an extra day’s holiday a year.

Staff are also being encouraged to join a “culture group”, a cross-departmental group reporting directly to the board on everything from environment issues to staff morale.

Meanwhile, the office formerly used by the co-founder of Redwood, Mike Potter, has been turned into a “chill-out” room and renamed Potters Bar in an attempt to give staff a place to relax away from their desks.

It has been fitted out with a music system, a plasma TV screen, wine cooler and fridge stocked with beer and champagne for “special occasions”.

Redwood is also in the process of setting up a film club so staff can view advanced screenings of DVDs.

The perks follow a series of new initiatives including a toaster on every floor with a constant supply of bread and jam and a “buddy system” aimed at new members of staff.

Redwood chief executive Keith Grainger said: “It is increasingly important these days for companies to be giving things back to their staff to show they are valued and recognised and one of the things that differentiates us from our competitors is the quality of our people.

“Increasingly, people are treated as a commodity and management forget that it is those people who are at the heart of their business.”

Asked what he hoped to achieve, he said: “Motivated, happy, positive and creative staff who enjoy working at Redwood – and do great work.”

By Ruth Addicott

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