- The participation rate for the vote was 98% and, starting tomorrow, around 500 employees based in the headquarters will work Monday to Thursday, with three days at the office and one from home.
Barcelona, 7 October 2021. Desigual’s employees voted yes. A month after the company proposed to its employees at the headquarters – excluding sales and operations teams – the possibility of reducing their work week to 4 days (Monday to Thursday) with the option to work from home on one of these days, the initiative has been approved securing more than 86% of the vote. The company had set an ambitious goal of gaining the support of at least 66% of the staff involved in the measure and the result has exceeded all expectations.
This is a bold step forward in making the company the best place to work, and having secured the support of the employees, Desigual is moving forward with the implementation of disruptive working and work-life balance models and is becoming the first fashion brand in Spain to offer these conditions. This initiative is a clear reflection of the brand’s philosophy, which is expressed through its “Life is Awesome” claim, and goes hand in hand with the creativity and innovation that has always characterised Desigual as a company which chooses to think and do in a different and disruptive way.
As Desigual’s CEO Alberto Ojinaga explained, “We are very happy that this initiative has been backed by such a large majority of our employees. We knew it was a risky proposal and that it could make some hesitant, but we are confident that it will contribute to improving the work-life balance for everyone at Desigual. We are excited about the new stage that we are embarking on today, which embodies the innovative and daring mindset that has always set us apart and is shared by the whole team.”
“The new work week will require an adaptation process and a unified effort, but the pandemic has shown us that we can organise work and teams in a different way and continue to be efficient by prioritising what really matters. Moreover, this initiative makes us more appealing as an organisation, which will allow us to retain and attract the best talent. We are a different, disruptive, young and optimistic company that is constantly transforming itself while not being afraid to propose new initiatives, and projects like the one that has been approved today only confirm this. We would love for the decision made today by Desigual’s employees to set a precedent and inspire other companies,” concluded Ojinaga.
The vote, which involved around 500 employees based in the company’s Barcelona headquarters, had a participation rate of xx% and was conducted in person, under notarial supervision and using ballot boxes. In total, 86% of employees voted in favour of adopting the 4-day work week. A team of spokespeople made up of 10 employees chosen by their colleagues were in charge of organising and counting the votes.
The voting process took place today at Desigual’s headquarters and votes were counted on the spot to guarantee the utmost transparency of the process.
Awesome Culture by Awesome People
Almost 500 employees working at Desigual’s headquarters will benefit from this measure, and starting tomorrow they will work Monday to Thursday with the option to work from home one day a week. The new hours will bring some changes to the terms of the contracts of the employees who will benefit from this measure, who will be working 34 hours a week instead of the current 39.5.
This new format also involves a salary decrease associated with the adjustment of hours (13%). The company is proposing to share this reduction by assuming 50% of the difference, which means that employees will only see a 6.5% decrease to their salaries. According to Coral Alcaraz, Desigual’s People Director, “It has been very satisfying to see how employees got involved in the information and voting process, and that they appreciated such a disruptive and innovative measure in favour of flexibility and work-life balance. At Desigual we put people at the centre of our decisions and strongly believe in collaboration between all our teams to enhance work-life balance and improve the health and wellbeing of all our employees.” This strategy is part of the global vision and policies of Human Resources at Desigual, which, under the Awesome Culture by Awesome People concept (an iteration of our long-standing motto La vida es chula – Life is Awesome) is showing its commitment to health and wellbeing, sustainability, equality, work-life balance and flexibility as its cornerstones.
This initiative is part of a larger plan to offer disruptive working and work-life balance models, which also involves implementing improvements for our other collectives that can’t be part of this new work week – due to the specific requirements of their positions, as is the case for store staff and the sales and operations teams – and also aims to strengthen the service provided to the stores and logistics centres.
Desigual is an international fashion brand that was established in Barcelona in 1984. It is famous for the individuality and unique character of its creations, which aim to bring positivity and authenticity to thousands of people who want to express the best version of themselves. The company currently has a workforce of over 2,700 employees and is present in 89 countries through 10 sales channels, 438 monobrand stores and six product categories: Woman, Man, Kids, Accessories, Shoes and Sport.