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Proving Elon Musk wrong: This Italian marketing company has no set office hours

Offices of Velvet Marketing agency in Italy.
Offices of Velvet Marketing agency in Italy. Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Luca Palamara & Jay Marques
Published on
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Managers and employees at this marketing agency are perfectly happy with their flexible working arrangement.


No set office hours and free vacation time, plus a relaxed and vibrant working environment: It sounds like every worker’s dream - but it is a reality in one marketing agency in northern Italy.

Velvet Media Italia has 150 employees and more than 500 clients - and its work philosophy, it says, is based on people rather than on processes.

“I think creativity stems from an inner well-being: When one lives in anxious and stressful conditions, one tends to be less productive, in terms of the quality of the production,” CEO Bassel Bakdounes told Euronews.

That's a far cry from the recent comments made by Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla, who feels the need for his employees to be physically present in the office full-time.

“We work on targets rather than on working hours. Everybody knows they have a certain number of activities to complete in order to best satisfy our clients, and must meet well-defined deadlines. To us, the exact time of the day people start working on it is just irrelevant,” said Stefano Negroni, General Manager of Velvet Media Italia.

Workers at this agency arrive into the office late and leave early, or don’t show up at all. And, believe it or not, they are asked to do so by their own boss - as long as they are valuable assets for their company.

“We don’t have set standards to follow, like punching in at 9.00 am and out at 6.00 pm. We have been doing that forever, according to our commitments and our targets, but now this system is clearer and well developed: It just feels like a natural development in our company,” said Account Manager Federica De Sisto.

Bakdounes, the CEO, added: “Thinking of buying people’s time is an anachronistic cultural heritage: This can’t be the core of a company any longer". 

"I’d rather be buying, so to speak, people’s creativity, their ability to work in a team and so on”.

Watch Euronews' full report in the media player above.

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