Folks often ask us why our working window is from 10 am to 4 pm and, I guess, we sometimes forget how we arrived at our new working hours.
Let’s take a quick trip back to 2011. We introduced non-punitive time recording. Randomly trawling through the time logs some months later, it became clear that most folks only delivered between 16 and 20 productive hours in a week. Rather than get upset and berating the DevOps and creative teams, we dug a a little deeper.
From this learning, we dropped our working week to 30 hours flex in 2012 and then moved to 10-4 in 2014 – that’s a 25 hour working week. Once underway, the first thing we noticed is the quality of our work shot up, as did our client service feedback rating. And, weirdly, our net work output also went up.
So, work fewer regulated hours and the quantity of quality work goes up. Go figure, to coin a phrase. Or, less is more as we like to call it.
It requires management, trust, great systems, epic people and lots of time but here’s our take away from running a maximum 25 hour week:
- It’s all you can realistically get from a creative soul in a week. We’re no factory; our team ain’t no battery hens churning out dross for 7.5 hours straight every day. When you write it down like this, you can see how ridiculous a 40hr graft week sounds.
- It gives folks the flexibility to choose when and where to work. Flexing a 25 hour week is simple. A good deal easier and more valuable than trying to shift a 40 hour week around. It also means none of us to have to get stuck in the daily rush hour grind.
- Improved mental & physical health. More time to exercise, eat a healthy diet and less stress and pressure. If you are having a ’cram’ week then it’s easy to find an extra 4 hour block.
- It is one third less time in work. That’s almost one extra full waking day to spend with your family, hobby, dog, friends, or whatever you do in your free time. That’s 50 days worth of extra free time every year, the very basis of an excellent work-life balance.
- Less work equals lower consumption. And a smaller environmental footprint that’s better for the environment and goes some way to help with the current climate crisis.
- It’s an edge. Another example of our company ethos, showing innovation and real thought-leadership in an industry full of low-rent, cookie-cutter agencies.
- It forms the basis of stronger communities. With more time to build relationships, to care for children, the elderly and the disabled. Plus an opportunity to get involved in charitable and unpaid work. Or even local politics and associations.
- And, finally, everyone seems happier.