4-Day week trial: how it’s going
5 Jul 2022
5 Jul 2022
It’s been two weeks since we launched our 4-day week trial. As we wrote in our blog, we wanted to close shop on Fridays to see how it would impact our Tribe’s health and wellbeing.
We always knew this would be a trial. Making sure the 4-day week works for our clients is paramount. We wanted some leeway to experiment, seeing what works and what doesn’t, so we can continue to deliver an exceptional service while reaping the benefits of a shorter working week.
It’s early days, but the outlook is bright for the 4-day week.
Discover our experience so far and what we’re doing to make it work for you.
Our industry is always on, as are Friday deadlines. So, the fact that we are not working on Fridays is, understandably, a source of anxiety.
We set up an emergency phone number to combat this. Our directors take it in turns being on call on Fridays. Technically, they’re not working. But if you need to speak to someone urgently, relax knowing a senior member of the Tribe will always be there to help.
This might be a temporary solution. We’re also considering hiring an external company on Fridays to answer our phones, so our directors can truly switch off. We’ve also been thinking about working a half-day on Monday and a half-day on Friday, as opposed to taking the whole of Friday off. We might trial this in a couple of months to see how it impacts our service.
Speaking of being closed on Fridays, one issue taught us about how important it is to be effective communicators. We realised that we can’t just send you work at the end of Thursday without any kind of a follow-up or time in between to deal with queries.
Moving forward, we’ll always send work before the end of the day and follow up with a phone call to deal with urgent requests, as well as to keep you informed on the next steps. We want to make sure that you never feel abandoned and that all loose ends are tied up before the end of the week (or, at the very least, we have a plan in place to address them on Monday).
“For the first time in years, I painted my nails!” said one of our working mums after her first 4-day week.
It was music to our ears.
This trial is giving our people the chance to finally do things for themselves. Friday is sacred. The kids are at school. The work phone is switched off. They can wake up in the morning and do whatever they feel like doing, whether that’s having an extra few hours in bed, climbing a mountain, or volunteering.
Our Tribe is more rested. They’re ready to work on Monday, feet on the accelerators.
We can’t say for sure how this is impacting productivity. This will be clearer when we collect data towards the end of July. But it’s common sense: happier, well-rested people are more motivated and more likely to be efficient at work.
They are also less likely to take time off because of burnout — since we’ve created initiatives to improve employee wellbeing, we’ve seen absenteeism plummet in the last year.
All of this adds up to a consistently brilliant service … in theory. We’ll be listening to you throughout the trial to make sure this is a reality.
Nine in ten employees want flexibility in where and when they work (EY). A 4-day week is a desirable perk, and for some candidates, it may be essential.
As far as we know, there aren’t any other established environmental consultants trialling a 4-day week. If it’s successful at TG, it could put us in an extremely strong position to attract talent; people who can help us elevate our service even further.
We are already seeing how those of our Tribe who are parents or caregivers are benefiting from the 4-day week. It will help us boost our inclusive culture, we predict that this will have a huge impact on retention and talent acquisition.
Our focus is on making sure you’re happy and supported. Over the coming months, we’ll continue to experiment with how we work, and the days that we work on, to see how we can deliver a premium service within a 4-day week.
A huge part of this is listening to your feedback. Let us know how our 4-day week trial is impacting you by calling us on 0121 828 4043 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months.