A win for our clients, a win for the environment and a win for our staff.
By Michael Alborough (Founder of MAC Research).
When I set up MAC Research four years ago, I knew that I would adopt the 'virtual agency' model. This means that we have no fixed offices, with everyone working from home most of the time. This model worked for us before the Covid Pandemic and allowed us to continue in this fashion without a huge disruption.
But it goes way beyond the lack of physical offices. We are networked with other specialists that work on projects as and when required. This way their costs are only included in the projects they are working on, and thus are not a permanent resource that needs to be funded. This has proved to be a very successful working model. We are currently working with five external consultants on specific projects.
Partnered with this modern business approach, we utilise the smartest research technology, to expedite the research process meaning fewer people hours per project, saving clients’ money. This model is also beneficial as it means that we have a much lower environmental impact, leading us to be awarded an Ecovadis gold standard last year, something I am particularly proud of. No offices mean our employees do not commute every day, no additional rent but also no heating or air-conditioning costs, security, and equipment costs. All of these cost reductions allow us to pass on this benefit to our clients, in a cost-to-value relationship.
The Ecovadis audit goes beyond the environmental footprint and looks at labour & human rights and ethics. I am very happy that MAC Research performed particularly well in all these areas.
Before I set up MAC Research, I extensively looked at the profit and loss accounts of traditional research agencies to see how much money they spent on what are essentially unnecessary overheads and I found that approx. 20% of these companies turnover, was spent on offices and executive salaries. That means 20% of the project costs that each client pays for a project are avoidable expenses. In addition, the virtual agency model means that we don't have big hierarchical organisations, we work with a flatter business structure with a more even distribution of work. This results in fewer unnecessary managerial roles that do not provide benefits directly to the end client.
We have five young graduates working for MAC Research, and unlike some companies we trust and empower them to work on projects at home, this is what they want, and they work incredibly hard. We believe that all staff should 'work around their life' as opposed to 'fitting their life around their work'. Some people are better in the morning, and some are better working late into the night, we are all different, 9 - 5 doesn't suit everyone. The working week was established in England during the industrial revolution to protect workers' rights who were working in factories and mills. It’s time for another change.
We are proud, not only to be pioneering a more efficient research agency model but to go further to improve the quality of our employees' work-life balance, a healthier planet and deliver exceptional value to our clients.
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