Four-Day Work Week: Pilot & Early Obstacles [An SEJ Case Study, Part 1]

Posted by

In September, Best SMM Panel personnel voted to authorize a trial run of a four-day work week program!

We’re running the program in collaboration with 4 Day Week Global as a six-month pilot.

Among the crucial tenets of the trial internally is that it’s employee-led– which is why leadership requested for a worker vote on whether to begin the trial. Leadership likewise nominated a committee of staff members to hear concerns and implement a policy relating to the trial.

We’re coming near the middle of our trial, and I wanted to write about a few of the successes and difficulties we’ve come across so far.

If you’re considering executing a four-day work week trial for your company, I hope this information can assist you prepare!

The Four-Day Work Week Program

The four-day work week experiment has a few key tenets:

  • It has to work for everybody.
  • Individuals shouldn’t be attempting to fit more time into their week in other methods. It should be 100% pay, 80% time, and 100% efficiency.
  • The end outcome need to make life better and less demanding throughout the work week– not more demanding.

The Greatest Challenges With A Four-Day Work Week

If you’re reading this short article, I’m going to assume you’re already on board with the possible benefits of four-day work weeks.

We have actually experienced many advantages, and I’ll go through them in a future short article.

Let’s solve into the challenges we found with the pilot program and the options we’ve implemented up until now.

A Four-Day Work Week Has Different Implications For Various Teams

Teams that handle anybody externally may have a harder change to four-day weeks.

External dealing with teams, like sales, account management, and media, lose a day during which their contacts may send essential or time-sensitive messages.

If your company’s schedule isn’t effectively communicated, this may trigger disappointment and missed out on deadlines.

These teams might have extra issues about the KPIs they’re responsible for, and whether they’ll need to be on-call to deal with urgent problems that turn up throughout off days.

We decided to withstand the temptation to attempt and find workarounds that guarantee we keep protection for the full week.

This might not work for your company. As 4 Day Week International states, there isn’t one option that works for every company.

We discussed at length the possibility of having different teams or various employees working different schedules.

However, four-day weeks are a hard adjustment, and the more complicated you make it internally, the most likely you won’t get complete implementation across the entire business.

Many companies have staff members who feel that it’s required to put in additional hours.

To keep whatever fair and avoid some staff members from handling extra problems, we decided that everybody must take the very same day off, and it should be implemented as closure time– at least for the duration of our trial.

There have been some situations where individuals put in additional time on a Friday (I’ve done it, though just two times), however in general, we discover that the temptation is less popular if everyone observes the very same day. It’s easier to preserve the cultural message that we are closed on a single day.

So, how do you resolve the problems external groups will encounter?

Clear communication is our answer. Be public about your brand-new schedule, and reach out to any external stakeholders to notify them.

You’ll need to send out constant suggestions. It’s good to put the information on your website, email signatures, and any boilerplate messages you send out externally.

This needs support from management and every worker to guarantee that external-facing teams do not take on a much heavier problem than others.

We’re still executing this. Different groups have different interaction duties.

A Four-Day Work Week Effects Part-Time And Per Hour Workers, And Specialists Differently

For employed staff members, the four-day work week computation is pretty easy: 100% pay, 80% time, 100% productivity.

SEJ utilizes individuals all over the world and has a range of different contracts and arrangements. We have some full-time contractors, some part-time contractors, and even some hourly arrangements.

How to make sure that the four-day week is an equivalent benefit for all celebrations is an obstacle we continue to deal with.

Our priority is an employee-lead approach to these questions.

Since we have so many different types of employment plans, how to best handle the program for each kind of employee is an ongoing discussion, and contract workers have representation on the internal committee making policy decisions during the trial.

We discovered a range of viewpoints about the best way to deal with the different arrangements, and the staff member committee has actually provided some possibilities to management.

We utilized existing information from 4 Day Week Global, particularly a few of its case research studies, to assist our discussions.

Do Holidays Develop Three-Day Weeks?

During the 2nd week of our trial, we ended up with a three-day week.

This triggered quite a bit of aggravation and concern. That extension of minimized hours puts a lot of pressure on workers who have efficiency KPIs to fulfill.

Part of the problem is that we had a policy that moved the observance of holidays that fall on weekends into weekdays. We were observing Saturday holidays on Fridays, and Sunday holidays on Mondays.

With the four-day work week, we decided that we ought to customize that policy.

Vacations that fall on Fridays and Saturdays will no longer be observed throughout the work week. Holidays that fall during the week, and those that fall on Sundays, will still result in days off.

That method, workers can still gain from the occasional extra-short week, but we aren’t developing a lot of high-stress weeks with less time to get things done.

Four-Day Weeks Exacerbate Existing Efficiency Pain Points– This Is Great, In fact

If you have problems with your workflow or performance, try out four-day weeks will make them urgent.

And that’s excellent.

It’s simple to get so overtaken the daily work and the most vital deadlines that your housekeeping suffers. Whether specific worker, group, or business, it’s difficult to find time to improve effectiveness and get rid of obstructions.

Losing a day makes this work immediate and essential. It will also show you where the biggest pain points are.

This can be a little bit of a shock. If you have a specific procedure taking up a great deal of time (like, I do not know, conferences), it will all of a sudden get much more problematic for everybody included.

We discovered this very useful, and it’s been a huge push that all of us needed to tackle ineffectiveness as a group.

We’re still working on it. The issue with less time is that, well, you have less time.

However here’s where we feel that our employee-led effort is important: Our committee of workers overseeing the program has been empowered to make decisions and set objectives. All employees have actually been welcomed to share their experiences, has a hard time, and suggestions by means of an anonymized idea box.

For this program to work, you need the truth:

  • Who seems like they need to work extra time?
  • Who is more stressed about the program, and why?
  • Does anyone feel that implementation has been unfair?

These aren’t facts everyone will feel comfy putting their name to, or taking directly to management.

That’s why SEJ thought it was important to have a committee of workers from multiple levels that was empowered not only to hear worker concerns, but also to make decisions about the program.

How Is SEJ’s Four-Day Work Week Working?

As you can see, we had a lot of challenges! The above isn’t an exhaustive list of the roadblocks and stumbles we have actually had along the method.

We have to do with halfway into the program, and while we still have lots of kinks to exercise, the general sentiment is positive.

We definitely have some huge questions to respond to and some huge workflow problems to tackle.

The four-day work week not only provides us more control over our personal lives but likewise presses us to fix existing issues that we may not have otherwise prioritized.

We’re gathering feedback from all employee about the program as we go. I’ll compose an update soon to talk about a few of the results.

More resources:

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel