How Ink Factory Adopted Our 4-Day Workweek—and What We Learned
Welcome back to Inside Ink. Written by Ink Factory co-founders Lindsay, Dusty, and Ryan (aka, LDR), this series explores the journey from fledgling startup to industry trailblazer. Follow along for honest thoughts on building and growing a mission-driven business in today’s world.
This new year marked the beginning of something awesome at Ink Factory: our 4-day workweek!
After months and months of research, planning, and piloting, we are thrilled to share this news. Even more exciting is how our team—and clients—will benefit from this new work model.
As founders, we’ve always envisioned a compressed schedule that gives employees a paid day off each week to recharge, feel inspired and find new creative outlets. We believe that taking time for ourselves empowers us to do even better work for others. In fact, our core values are centered around this belief.
What makes this shift especially exciting is that it doesn’t require the team to work longer, more demanding days. Our new schedule is Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central. By working smarter—streamlining processes and nixing unnecessary meetings, in particular—we can accomplish a traditional 40-hour workweek in 32 hours.
But making this switch wasn’t as simple as, well, flipping a switch. So today, we’re sharing our journey to a 4-day workweek—the steps we took to get here and what we learned along the way.
Our 4-day workweek roadmap
Early in 2022, Ink Factory committed to implementing a 4-day workweek. How it would work wasn’t yet clear, so we gave ourselves six months to work out the details and appointed one team member to lead the effort. (Thank you Teresa Rawlings for taking this on and making our 4-day workweek dream a reality!) Here’s how we put those six months to work:
Research, research, research
We looked at how other companies implemented compressed workweeks to better understand the various models. Then, we assessed our company “flow” to find the right fit for us. We compiled data by day of the week to understand which days we scheduled the most sales calls, client events, internal meetings, and more. A trend emerged: Fridays were often “quieter.”
Communicate the plan internally
We brought the four-day workweek goal to the entire team for questions and input. We were open about the fact that like with any change there may be ups and downs as we test, learn and refine.
We knew we needed to free up employees’ time Monday through Thursday, so we overhauled when, why, and for how long we schedule meetings. We cut back on recurring meetings, assessed who really needs to attend, and opted for Asana tasks instead when it makes sense.
Pilot the new schedule
First, we shortened our Fridays–from 9-5 to 9-3, and then 9-12. Our clients followed suit and our inboxes were noticeably quieter. At the same time, we shifted all internal work to other weekdays, allowing us to pressure test our new efficiencies and productivity measures.
Communicate the change externally
The month before our four-day workweek went live, we sent a communication to all clients notifying them of the change. We outlined our schedule and what to do if you need to reach our team on a Friday.
Go live–give thanks
Our four-day workweek is live and we couldn’t be happier. We’re so appreciative of our team for their input, reflection, and patience as we made this transition.
So, what have we learned?
Three big things rise to the top as we think about our journey to a four-day workweek:
- A 4-day workweek is possible! The key to success is becoming more efficient. Review and rethink engrained processes to find better, more efficient ways to work. The rest will fall into place.
- Trust your team. We have a really high-performing team who embraced the 4DWW idea and stepped up to make this a successful transition. Lean into your team for ideas, feedback, and support each step of the way.
- Keep iterating. This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it model. Commit to continually reflecting on and adjusting how your business works to ensure it works best for your team and clients.
2023 is here and we’re ready to take it on (four days at a time)! If your business has implemented a non-traditional work model we’d love to hear about it–send us a note and let’s connect.
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