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At Mark One, we recently took the decision to reduce the working week for our staff to 4.5 days, effectively giving our team half a day for a little ‘Rest and Relaxation’. We decided to trial this initiative with a view to review in 3 months, however all the early signs are positive and the 4.5 working week is very likely here to stay.
There has been lots of research over recent years, challenging the 5-day working week as a relic of the industrial age, and that significant advances in technology have meant we are working faster and more efficiently. Meaning we can achieve more, in less time. As an innovative tech firm that benefits from these advances, we felt it was important for us to challenge working norms!
At Mark One, we are lucky enough to have a close team, dedicated to the company’s success, who go ‘above and beyond’ each and every day. Over the last couple years, the daily pressures and stresses have been more evident, and we felt a duty of care for our staffs’ wellbeing.
According to the charity Mind, 1 in 6 of us experience mental health problems in any given week, so providing more time for our team to spend with family and friends during the week, has had a positive effect on their general wellbeing and mental health. This means fewer health issues, and in turn, less absence due to sickness, which was a welcome by-product of introducing a reduced working week.
But, the benefits for a shorter working week are not limited to happier employees or fewer health issues, it can also increase productivity levels. The general consensus is, happier employees are more fulfilled and focused on their work when in the workplace. Again, something we have noticed in our early trial.
With their additional free time with family and friends, we have already noticed our workforce are generally happier which was our main objective. Longer term, we hope this will translate into increased company loyalty and mean we will continue to attract and keep top industry talent. Another significant WIN!
It is a huge leap of faith, and we completely understand employers’ reluctance to change, but for us it has already proven to be positive step forward in our company’s growth. For most companies the time and energy you have to invest to implement a 4-day week is significant, however we have found the effort to be more than worth it!