Roll on the 5-hour working day

Being a WordPress Agency.

Work/Life balance is one of the most contentious subjects in the workspace today. But substantial evidence exists that a shorter working is better for everyone.

As part of our 2011 Better Working Initiative, we relaxed the working week to 30hrs and instigated 100% location independent working. It had mixed results initially, but we stuck with it, and it’s been a real game changer.

It’s now four and a half years later, and we aim for a 25-hour working week – there is no way we’d go back to the old system. The benefits for everyone is enormous:

  • Greater productivity. Yes, you read that right – we see greater meaningful output from capping the working week at 25 hrs.
  • Far Better pay rates. We’re huge fans of sharing the benefits so operate a minimum pay rate of £25 per hour, that’s two and a half times the UK Living Wage. Our standard skilled staffer rate is also two and a half times the industry average (based on an average agency salary of £35,000)
  • Highest Quality People. The combination of higher pay rates, fewer working hours and a location agnostic working model means we can attract and retain the very best talent.
  • Unparalleled level of service. Our clients rate us, and independent auditing rates our service as unbeatable in the industry. In fact, we’ve been running a 100% satisfaction for over 18 months.
  • Highly profitable. We are selective about the clients we work with, and they understand that peerless quality comes at a price. We invest heavily and work hard to ensure that WordPress projects and support are delivered on time and budget so we can comfortably provide an excellent service that surpasses the digital needs of our clients and our long-term financial needs without having to take risks with resources or cut corners.
  • Better family life. Working fewer hours, and often from home, greatly increases “home time” and in turn a flexible work existence that better matches the needs and wants of the family.

It’s not just us

Much of the developed world suffers from poor staff morale, long working hours, poor work/life balance and low productivity. Despite almost every initiative to reduce the length of the working week showing positive results, most companies shy away from change.

For many, it’s fear of change, or lack of vision to successfully implement what is a massive change in operational workplace management. For some, it’s a lack of trust from senior management combined with a mismatched workforce. For others, it’s ignorance.

The 40hr working week is often deceptive. If, like most folks, you get into work just before 9, steal 20 mins for lunch and finish at six then that adds up to 45hr week. Add the average 73-minute commute (London) then total work hours creep dangerously past 55 hrs.

Most folks know the 8hr day was born out of the industrial revolution using a crude “thirds” split of the day. Shockingly (at the time) The Ford Motor Company not only cut the standard work day to eight hours but also doubled their worker’s pay in the process. This resulted in Ford’s productivity increasing significantly, and Ford’s profit margins doubled within two years. This encouraged other companies to adopt the shorter, eight-hour work day – over 100 years later so many companies still adhere to this incredibly outmoded approach.

The movement to improve work/life balance is gaining momentum. Not surprisingly, Sweden is leading the way but so many companies still drive their employees to top 40 hours a week, despite strong evidence suggesting it’s a waste of effort.

We’ve been proud to be leading the way in disrupting the agency space for nearly 20 years – and will continue to innovate for the next 20.