There’s been lots of conversation recently, and even more so since the pandemic changed everyone’s working situations, about 4-day working weeks. Some businesses have embraced the idea, pushing a full week’s work into 4 days and creating a 3-day weekend – some, to huge success and improvement, and some to very little difference in productivity and staff happiness. It certainly seems positive overall, so as a leadership team, we’ve been thinking about how to approach the 4-day week in a way that’s going to improve not only our employee happiness, morale and longevity, but also improve productivity and achieve better results.
After lots of discussion, we decided to try something out. The team we’ve built here at StrategiQ is a group of dedicated, passionate, engaged marketers, and the feedback we get often from the team is that there isn’t enough thinking space. Our fast-paced growth and winning clients at great speed means we’re constantly pushing for efficiency, making the most of every minute that we can whilst still giving everything we do the greatest possible attention and effort.
A recent article from our friends at The Drum also highlighted a key issue with our industry as a whole – we don’t put enough time into development of entry-level employees internally to improve diversity and in turn, productivity. Less time in the office, more box-ticking of tasks and no time for thinking and creativity means as an industry we’re failing our entry-level staff who are the key to a more effective, efficient and happier workforce.
With this in mind, we’ve decided to create that space. We’ve created a 4-day client working week with the 5th day being a day for thinking, strategising, learning, and becoming better marketers. These days consist of workshops, group sessions, quiet time, research and development and providing that much-needed space to be creative, have ideas and find opportunities for our clients more proactively.
Initially held every two weeks for a settling-in period (because not everyone loves change!) then becoming weekly once any kinks have been worked out, our Thursday client-free days begin with sessions on branding and strategy, with new topics and discussion points every week.
We’ve also built-in dedicated focus periods across the company, every day, so that we spend more time moving the needle for our clients. With a marked decrease in meeting times, to make way for even more innovation, collaboration and smarter delivery, we’re excited to see how this positively impacts results for both our clients and our team.
We’ve not jumped on the 3-day weekend bandwagon, because in all honesty, we don’t believe it’s what our team need to want to come to work every day, we don’t believe it’ll make us all better marketers, encourage diversity and equality across the industry, or develop a new generation of amazing people, doing incredible things for clients. So, whilst there’s no extra day to do laundry or go to brunch, we’re testing our very own StrategiQ working week in a bid to create a happier, healthier, diverse and more creative workplace.