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Diary of an MD Part One: Introducing Our 4-day Week Pilot

5 Apr 2022

By now, the news is out. In fact, it’s quite literally everywhere!

Tyler Grange will be one of 60 businesses taking part of the official, 4-day week trial which starts this June (you can learn more here).

This move, whilst aligning closely with our values, coincides with our journey towards becoming a B-Corp, for which we are hoping to achieve accreditation later in 2022. Certified B-Corps are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

So, to honour this, and live our TG values, we decided to document our journey as we trial our four-day week.

So, let’s dive in with where it all started. Or, if you’re already caught up on all of that, skip straight to part two and follow our diary here.

Rosy, with a tint of tiredness

Back in late 2018, long before anyone had even heard of coronavirus, I was sat in a coffee shop with my fellow Founders of TG, Julian Arthur and Jon Berry.

We were reminiscing about:

  • Our upcoming 9th Birthday [TG, not us]
  • What a wonderful business we had built
  • How well things were going

We have great clients, a wonderful and happy team. It all seemed very rosy. On the surface, at least.

Like many companies within our industry – many of our competitors, and clients – we were pretty tired. Talks within the team were framed around how busy we were, and how much we needed to do, and a lack of time for actually living.

We even had a few members of the Tribe part ways with us, citing that they couldn’t keep the pace up and needed to change how they worked. Fair enough, we couldn’t blame them. But something needed to change. This wasn’t sustainable and it wasn’t what we wanted for our business.

We talked about how we could improve our working environments to allow more flexibility at work. How we could build systems and processes to help efficiency – and all the usual stuff that business owners come up with. All good ideas but it’s not enough. We felt compelled to be more radical.

Think ten times BIGGER!

4. Day. Week. Well, that sounds silly when you put it on the table.

We’re really busy, so how on earth are we going to do the work we’re doing now in less time? It was a fair point. But that wasn’t enough to dull this nagging thought.

All I had to do was look to the Tribe to see some great examples. We have loads of working parents doing 4-day weeks. Frankly, now I thought about it, they are all pretty damn phenomenal at their jobs. There was the evidence it could be done, I thought to myself.

Then I remembered something that Kirk Vallis told me….

For those that haven’t heard of him, Kirk is an Innovation and Creativity expert at Google. Within his day-to-day role keeping the creative juices flowing in a tech giant with a market share of over 85%, Kirk has no option but to be radical.

“Whenever you have a problem think 10 times bigger,” he said to me.

In other words, go big or go home.

So, we committed in that coffee shop. We would take TG in the direction of a 4-day week.

4 years in the making

So, it was decided.

We started asking ourselves: “how can we achieve a 4-day week?” and “what do we need to do to make it happen?”

Getting the practicalities and the foundations right was essential to this working for us. It wasn’t going to be an easy transition overnight. And it wasn’t!

For us, that’s when we started the undertaking – back in 2018. It’s been 4 years in the making, so far. However, hopefully we will have achieved it in just under 5, when we complete our 6-month trial in December.

The motivation driving change

At this point, you may be wondering: why did we want a 4-day week? What did we see it solving for us back in that coffee shop?

Simply, because we work to live at TG. We don’t live to work.

We want a Tribe that is fulfilled in their jobs but has time to explore life (and this amazing world). And that means more time not working, and better working time.

A complete overhaul

To get us to our goal, we decided to focus on efficiency over everything. We what our consultant team to do what they are good at: getting clients the results they need, and not completing all the administrative tasks that take up time and get in the way.

We wanted to create a highly mobile and flexible workforce, and we wanted to find out about our Tribe’s hopes and dreams, so we could help them be realised.

No small task. So, what have we done about it?

Honestly, it’s been really hard. We have had to completely overhaul how we work.

  • We’ve changed the way the team functions – using an amazing (and now extensive) partner network of experts to add to our team, so they can spend more time solving problems and less time grinding surveys.
  • We’ve invested heavily in market-leading admin systems to reduce the burden. This has cost a significant amount of time and money, but it’s worth it.
  • We’ve developed market-leading mentoring programme – with world class experts like International Sports Coach, Russel Earnshaw, and our inhouse psychologist, Suzanne Brown. We now have our ‘dreamcatcher’ which is our version of an appraisal, allowing us to tailor how we support our team in reaching their dreams.
  • We’ve even developed our own app. Created by our fantastic R&D team, this will help manage fatigue and keep an eye on how the team are doing. You can download it onto your smart device here and see how at risk of fatigue you are.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve done so much over the last 4 years to prepare.

That’s why we’re so excited to watch those years of hard work paying off. I feel we are prepared and ready to go; sure, there may be a few bumps in the road – but that always comes with change.

Working 4 days, rather than 5, will transform our business.

Buckle up to join us as we share it with you.

Click here to follow our MD Diaries where we’ll be documenting our journey as we go.

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