There has been a lot of discussion recently around the benefits of a shorter working week for businesses and their employees. The IPPR Scotland recently revealed that people in Scotland are overwhelmingly supportive of the introduction of a four-day working week, urging the Scottish Government to extend its trial of the scheme.
This summer, Hamilton Forth and the wider Livingston James Group introduced a shorter working week (finishing at 12.30pm on a Friday) to help our employees reconnect with friends and family, and to have additional time to do more of what they enjoy.
In order to relieve pressure on our teams, and to make this feel like an opportunity for ‘proper’ time off, we reduced our targets by 10% to account for less time at our desks. However, we found that productivity went up 15% on the previous two months over the normally quiet summer period, and our original targets were significantly exceeded.
Feedback from our colleagues was overwhelmingly positive. They reported feeling highly energised, properly rested, and increasingly motivated. In addition, client and candidate feedback also remained high, with our average score on ‘would you recommend us to a friend or colleague’ coming in at >9/10.
As a result of these fantastic results, we are trialling our shorter working week until the end of the year, with a focus on measuring objectives around engagement, productivity, wellbeing, retention, attraction, and revenue.
How to Make it Work
Crucially, the success of implementing an initiative such as this is making sure it works for you and your business. We’ve pulled together some of the key points to consider if you are thinking of introducing your own shorter working week.
- Be clear about what you want to achieve at company, leadership, and employee levels
- Clearly communicate the objectives and benefits of the scheme to your employees
- Provide an opportunity for employees to ask questions or raise any concerns about the scheme ahead of implementation
- Ensure clients and customers are aware of your plans and the thinking behind them – they need to know that they will still receive the same level of service they expect from your organisation, and that their needs will be met
- Regularly check in with your employees and managers to measure success against your objectives
- Regularly check in with clients and customers to ensure that they are happy with the level of service they are receiving
- Communicate the benefits and successes to your stakeholders
In reality, implementing any sort of change within your organisation can be challenging, but with clear objectives and communication, we have reaped the benefits of our shorter working week. If you’d like to discuss implementing a similar programme in your own organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with [email protected] .
The image accompanying this article was taken on our latest corporate challenge that saw us climb Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime to raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland, MacMillan Cancer Research, and Marie Curie UK. If you’d like to donate you can find the links to our JustGiving pages here. Thank you!