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Exeter business really is the best place to work!

Xenia Espina and Rob Stevens with the award. Photo credit: Optix Solutions)

Digital marketing business Optix Solutions has been named the top ‘boutique’ agency in the country in Campaign’s prestigious Best Places to Work list.

What’s more, the company was placed fourth overall in the top 100, its highest ever position.

Managing Director Rob Stevens, who collected the award with colleague Xenia Espina, says “This is the third year Optix Solutions has been included on the list. We knew we were in the top 100 back in March.

“But then we were invited to the awards reception in London, and interviewed by a journalist for Campaign which hadn’t happened before, so we all felt hopeful. Even so, we were stunned to learn we’d won our category and are in the top four best places to work.”

Rob says there is a huge ongoing focus in the company to make Optix a really great workplace. “We constantly review all aspects of our business to make sure that our team is happy, healthy and content.

“Like many companies we offer flexible and hybrid working, but we’ve introduced numerous added extras, from free membership of Exeter Golf & Country Club and 3pm finishes on Fridays during August, to becoming a dog-friendly office. We’ve also given team members the chance to work remotely overseas – one colleague had a ‘work month’ in Japan.”

Optix Solutions has long been recognised locally and nationally for its positive culture and ethos, attracting high quality team members with experience, skills and commitment to clients. On independent ranking site Glassdoor, for example, it scores 5 out of 5 based on employee reviews.

“In a sector where people traditionally only stay for a relatively short time, we’re proud to have a low staff turnover, and several team members who have been with us for over 10 years.”

The company recently became an accredited Living Wage Employer after being audited by the Living Wage Foundation. “And in light of the cost of living crisis, we recently had a review of salaries across the business, which led us to promote some of our more junior team members. As a responsible employer, we believe it is only right to reward fairly.”

Optix is also a signatory to the ‘Charter for Employers Positive about Mental Health’, showing its commitment to creating a supportive and open culture, where colleagues feel able to talk about mental health confidently, and aspire to appropriately support the mental wellbeing of all staff.

Co-founder Alastair Banks adds “The Senior Leadership Team is focused on this critical area of our business, our people, because we have our own experiences of wellbeing issues. We have always intended to make sure everyone working at Optix feels supported, respected and that their views are taken seriously.

“This award is a real accolade for us all. We are obviously doing something right and we intend to keep doing it, specifically as we’re currently working towards B Corp status and are loving the journey!”

The Best Places to Work scheme is a joint effort by top advertising magazine Campaign and Workforce Research Group (WRG), celebrating employers that have created healthy and enjoyable environments for their staff.

Candidates undergo a two-part survey process. First WRG collects information about each employer’s benefits, policies, practices and other general information. The second stage is a confidential employee survey, which was used to analyse the workplace experience and culture.