Arthur Sadoun Discusses Publicis Groupe’s Approach to Returning to the Office

By Erik Oster 

Today, Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun shared an internal video across the network discussing how the holding company is approaching its return to office policy.

Unlike previous video addresses, Sadoun taped the video not in Publicis Groupe’s Paris headquarters but in its Chicago office. He explained that he has been meeting with office leaders around the world, beginning in France and now extending to the U.S., where he has met in person with 25 office leaders.

Sadoun explained that there was not a one size fits all solution to the issue, since the spread of the virus is massively different across markets. In China, Publicis Groupe employees have already completely returned to offices, while only an average of 20% in Europe and 3% in the U.S. have. People also have different needs based on their personal situations, with around one in four employees balancing work and childcare, while six in 10 are single or live alone.


Given these distinctions, Publicis Groupe is providing local leaders with the flexibility to make “nuanced decision” based on local regulations, prioritizing employee health and well-being.

“Publicis will not be a Zoom company, nor will it be a 100% in-office company,” Sadoun said, shying away from either extreme. He explained that the characterization will extend past the development and widespread availability of a vaccine, when “offices will once again be the center and heartbeat of work life, but remote work and Marcel will be an integrated part of our daily work culture.”

Sadoun explained that Publicis Groupe chief talent officer Emmanuel Andre was working on guidelines for the future of work at Publicis Groupe, which will be shared before the end of 2020.

As a thank you for their tireless work in 2020, Sadoun announced that U.S. employees would be given the entire week of Thanksgiving off to take care of their mental and emotional well-being.