Some of you will know that we at Pro Drive have been hoping to adopt a 4-day working week for our full-time staff. We’re in phase two of our trial and, if you’d like to know what we’re doing, we have a video about it.
As many people say they would like to work like this and are curious about how it could be done, Chris Morrell, our Operations Director, spoke to Jen Clay of Oakleaf Enterprise, a local mental health charity, about how we started the trial, what we have learned so far, the fact that it needs to be a win:win for all – and the next steps.
If you are considering a 4-day working week or are just curious about how it’s going, watch our video here …
We first wrote about our plans for a 4-day working week in our blog in May. Being in a service industry, where we are contracted to be available for specified hours, flexible working takes careful planning and we’d done our research – see the blog here.
We introduced our trial in May 2022 as a half day off a fortnight (or a 9 1/2 day working fortnight) and we chose Friday afternoons to do it as our research proved we receive substantially less calls and tickets on a Friday afternoon.
After three months we measured employee engagement, productivity (utilisation/amount of hours logged by engineers) and customer satisfaction – and all of it had gone up. One of the ways that we knew it was going in the right direction was that none of our clients were telling us that they couldn’t get hold of us on a Friday – that would have stopped the trial straight away but no one was impacted negatively.
So, after three months, we went into phase two – a 9-day working fortnight. To ensure we had enough staff to maintain our levels of service we split the teams into two and one team had one Friday afternoon off and the other team the next Friday afternoon off.
That went well so we moved to the next step and split the teams again – one group had a full Friday off and the other a whole Monday off (we researched that Mondays were OK to do this). And then the teams swapped days. We weighted it slightly to accommodate the fact that we needed a few more staff in on Mondays because they tend to be busier than Fridays.
We’re still trialling this and the aim is to get to a full 4-day working week – watch this space!
Key findings so far
Positive impact on staff
- We have reduced employees’ contractual working hours to reflect the extra time off they get.
- Part-time staff receive either more holiday or salary (pro rata) rather than reducing their working hours.
- The morale and wellbeing of our staff has improved – they have more time out of work to do things they want to do like spend extra time with their family or pursue leisure interests.
It’s good for business
- We are more efficient and productive.
- Our staff are ready and motivated to do their absolute best for our clients.
- Our clients are positive and we ask them for feedback, which has shown that they are happy with our service.
- It has also shown prospective new recruits that we offer attractive working arrangements for our employees and this is helping us in our recruitment.
We hope you find the video interesting but if you’d like to have a chat to us about our 4-day working week trial, please get in touch on the form below.