Inside SEJ’s 4-Day Work Week Trial

Inside SEJ's Four-Day Work Week Trial

In September, Search Engine Journal employees voted to approve a trial run of a four-day work week program!

We’re operating this system in partnership with 4 Day Week Global as a six-month pilot.

One of many key tenets of the trial internally is that it’s employee-led – which is why management requested for an worker vote on whether or not to start the trial. Management additionally nominated a committee of workers to listen to considerations and implement a coverage concerning the trial.

We’re coming as much as the midway level of our trial, and I wished to jot down about a few of the successes and challenges we’ve encountered to date.

If you happen to’re eager about implementing a four-day work week trial on your firm, I hope this info will help you put together!

The 4-Day Work Week Program

The four-day work week experiment has just a few key tenets:

  • It has to work for everybody.
  • Individuals shouldn’t be making an attempt to suit extra time into their week in different methods. It ought to be 100% pay, 80% time, and 100% productiveness.
  • The tip consequence ought to make life higher and fewer anxious through the work week – no more anxious.

The Largest Challenges With A 4-Day Work Week

If you happen to’re studying this text, I’m going to imagine you’re already on board with the potential benefits of four-day work weeks.

We’ve skilled many advantages, and I’ll undergo them in a future article.

Let’s get proper into the challenges we found with the pilot program and the options we’ve carried out to date.

A 4-Day Work Week Has Completely different Implications For Completely different Groups

Groups that cope with anybody externally could have a tougher adjustment to four-day weeks.

Exterior going through groups, like gross sales, account administration, and media, lose a day throughout which their contacts would possibly ship essential or time-sensitive messages.

If your organization’s schedule isn’t successfully communicated, this will trigger frustration and missed deadlines.

These groups could have extra considerations concerning the KPIs they’re chargeable for, and whether or not they’ll must be on-call to cope with pressing points that come up throughout off days.

We determined to withstand the temptation to attempt to discover workarounds that guarantee we hold protection for the complete week.

This may increasingly not work on your firm. As 4 Day Week World says, there isn’t one answer that works for each firm.

We mentioned at size the opportunity of having completely different groups or completely different workers working completely different schedules.

Nonetheless, four-day weeks are a tough adjustment, and the extra sophisticated you make it internally, the extra possible you received’t get full implementation throughout the entire firm.

Many firms have workers who really feel that it’s obligatory to place in additional hours.

To maintain all the pieces truthful and forestall some workers from taking up extra burdens, we determined that everybody ought to take the identical day without work, and it ought to be enforced as closure time – at the very least at some stage in our trial.

There have been some conditions the place folks put in additional time on a Friday (I’ve completed it, although solely twice), however generally, we discover that the temptation is much less outstanding if everybody observes the identical day. It’s simpler to take care of the cultural message that we’re closed on a single day.

So, how do you resolve the issues exterior groups will encounter?

Clear communication is our reply. Be public about your new schedule, and attain out to any exterior stakeholders to tell them.

You’ll have to ship fixed reminders. It’s good to place the knowledge in your web site, e-mail signatures, and any boilerplate messages you ship externally.

This requires help from management and each worker to make sure that external-facing groups don’t tackle a heavier burden than others.

We’re nonetheless implementing this. Completely different groups have completely different communication obligations.

A 4-Day Work Week Impacts Half-Time And Hourly Workers, And Contractors Otherwise

For salaried workers, the four-day work week calculation is fairly straightforward: 100% pay, 80% time, 100% productiveness.

SEJ employs folks all around the world and has quite a lot of completely different contracts and preparations. We have now some full-time contractors, some part-time contractors, and even some hourly preparations.

How to make sure that the four-day week is an equal profit for all events is a problem we proceed to handle.

Our precedence is an employee-lead method to those questions.

As a result of now we have so many various kinds of employment preparations, methods to finest handle this system for every kind of worker is an ongoing dialog, and contract workers have illustration on the interior committee making coverage selections through the trial.

We found quite a lot of opinions about the easiest way to deal with the completely different preparations, and the worker committee has introduced some potentialities to management.

We used current info from 4 Day Week World, particularly a few of its case studies, to information our conversations.

Do Holidays Create Three-Day Weeks?

Throughout the second week of our trial, we ended up with a three-day week.

This brought about fairly a little bit of frustration and concern. That extension of lowered hours places a variety of strain on workers who’ve efficiency KPIs to satisfy.

A part of the difficulty is that we had a coverage that moved the observance of holidays that fall on weekends into weekdays. We have been observing Saturday holidays on Fridays, and Sunday holidays on Mondays.

With the four-day work week, we determined that we should always modify that coverage.

Holidays that fall on Fridays and Saturdays will now not be noticed through the work week. Holidays that fall through the week, and those who fall on Sundays, will nonetheless end in days off.

That method, workers can nonetheless profit from the occasional extra-short week, however we aren’t creating too many high-stress weeks with much less time to get issues completed.

4-Day Weeks Exacerbate Present Productiveness Ache Factors – This Is Good, Truly

When you’ve got points along with your workflow or productiveness, experimenting with four-day weeks will make them pressing.

And that’s good.

It’s straightforward to get so caught up with the day-to-day work and essentially the most crucial deadlines that your housekeeping suffers. Whether or not particular person worker, group, or firm, it’s tough to search out time to enhance effectivity and take away roadblocks.

Dropping a day makes this work pressing and obligatory. It’s going to additionally present you the place the largest ache factors are.

This generally is a little bit of a shock. When you’ve got a selected course of taking on a variety of time (like, I don’t know, conferences), it would all of the sudden get rather more problematic for everybody concerned.

We discovered this very informative, and it’s been an enormous push that all of us wanted to deal with inefficiencies as a group.

We’re nonetheless engaged on it. The issue with much less time is that, properly, you’ve much less time.

However right here’s the place we really feel that our employee-led effort is crucial: Our committee of workers overseeing this system has been empowered to make selections and set targets. All workers have been invited to share their experiences, struggles, and options through an anonymized suggestion field.

For this program to work, you want the reality:

  • Who appears like they should work additional time?
  • Who’s extra confused about this system, and why?
  • Does anybody really feel that implementation has been unfair?

These aren’t truths everybody will really feel comfy placing their title to, or taking on to management.

That’s why SEJ thought it was essential to have a committee of workers from a number of ranges that was empowered not solely to listen to worker considerations, but additionally to make selections about this system.

How Is SEJ’s 4-Day Work Week Working?

As you’ll be able to see, we had loads of challenges! The above isn’t an exhaustive record of the roadblocks and stumbles we’ve had alongside the way in which.

We’re about midway into this system, and whereas we nonetheless have many kinks to work out, the general sentiment is optimistic.

We positively have some massive inquiries to reply and a few massive workflow points to deal with.

The four-day work week not solely provides us extra management over our private lives but additionally pushes us to unravel current issues that we could not have in any other case prioritized.

We’re gathering suggestions from all group members about this system as we go. I’ll write an replace quickly to debate a few of the outcomes.

Extra sources: 

Featured Picture: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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