The 4 day working week

Don’t be so lazy… Basically part-time… Stop taking the p***…

Those were a couple of the responses I had when I mentioned it to friends, the majority were supportive and jealous, though. So that’s when I knew it would be a great idea.

Kyle and I discussed this a while back and then when COVID hit we revisited those conversations with Danielle and together we decided it could work really well for us, for many reasons – but I’ll come onto those in a second.

In previous roles, I’ve always finished earlier on a Friday anyway, and it generally get’s to 12pm, everyone has lunch (With a beer most of the time) get back in the office and it all becomes a lot more relaxed, the office beers come out and then if you weren’t on a afternoon incentive, you’d finish early to get ready and then head out. Sound familiar?

Factor in the pointless chats around the kettle and the glass of water that takes you 5x longer than it needs to and you’re probably only actually working for 60/70% of the time you’re actually in work.

So, how does it work?

The targets don’t change. You don’t suddenly see a decrease in the input targets or in your billing expectations. We just expect focus for the whole time you’re at work. 

We saw a crazy stat that said 82% of Recruitment Consultants suffer from chronic stress at work, that’s huge! So giving our staff that extra day to spend with families, to wind down and to start new hobbies, re-visit old hobbies or just do things they love doing was a massive factor to why we did this.

We also see it as a way we can attract new starters and retain current staff. Being in Rochdale and not in a swanky exposed brick office in the middle of Manchester,  we realised that we may need to do something to stand out from the crowd and attract people to the business, because we’re confident that when you come into see us, you’ll want to join and you’ll want to stay!

Don’t get me wrong…

…We still enjoy ourselves and chat and have lunch time together to talk about last night’s tele and what everyone is watching on Netflix. Oh, and I can tell Ky how Rochdale got on on Saturday whilst he pretends to care; but we do this in our down time. 

How has it helped me so far?

I’ve always been pretty organised, but there’s no doubt I am planning my days even better now. I won’t go to sleep until I know what my day looks like tomorrow. I know that for my laptop to only open on a Friday for a Football Manager sesh, I need to execute my plan for the week and tick off all the critical things needed from me.

I’m much more focused and better at leaving conversations that aren’t going to help me get to where I want to be and where our Consultants want to be.

Another big thing is still having Friday if you need it. There have been times when there’s been something that has taken a bit longer than expected and I’ve ran out of time on a Thursday Evening, so I have still come into the office to get it done. It doesn’t feel quite as daunting coming into work on your day off when it’s a Friday, rather than a Saturday or Sunday.

Aside from work, it’s given me more time to do some of the things I love doing outside of work. When it’s raining and cold or I’m inevitably injured from football the week before – I’ll use the time to read, play FM, start a new series; if it’s dry and in the rare event I’m fit and healthy, I’ll go for a walk with the mrs and her dog which is great, mainly because I get a free pass for the rest of the weekend to watch all the football!

It’s probably not been the best time to start this.

However, there’s no doubt that I believe this to be the best way for us to move forward as a business and I’ve definitely seen benefits to it. 

It’ll take new starters a little bit to get used to, but it’s really added to our offering.

When we can go and spend time with family members we don’t live with, it’ll be even better.

We could even use our Fridays to do team building events and can have Thursday nights out. We could have Lunch Clubs on a Friday still, but not be worried about missing out on potential pipeline for next week…

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