5 Lessons Learned from Implementing A 4-Day Workweek
At the beginning of 2023, Ink Factory did a really big thing: we adopted a 4-day workweek! Now, half a year into our new schedule, we’re back to share an update, fresh learnings, and some friendly advice for other businesses considering a condensed workweek.
So, how’s our 4DWW going?
In a word: swimmingly!
The first three months were really about helping our team adjust to the new schedule, as well as the processes we implemented to support the transition from a five- to four-day workweek. We now work Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central.
Of course, we had to work out a few kinks (more on this later on), but these were minimal thanks to all the time we invested in preparing for the transition. (For more on how we got here, check out our 4-Day Workweek Roadmap.)
This has been our vision from the start. To provide our team with a compressed schedule that provides a paid day off each week to recharge and feel inspired, because that’s core to our culture. We’re so grateful to this team for helping to make it a reality.
What we’ve learned–and advice we’d share–from our 4-day workweek
1. Have a plan for holidays and PTO.
Prior to our 4DWW, we provided paid time off for US bank holidays. With a lot of holidays falling on Fridays we needed to rethink this. We also wanted to rethink our holiday policy anyway to be more inclusive of diverse cultures. Ultimately, we adopted floating holidays. With this system, employees choose the holidays they want to take off each year. 4DWW or not, this is a great idea as not everyone celebrates the same holidays!
2. Add 1-2 months to your transition timeline.
We gave ourselves six months to research, ideate, discuss and soft launch our 4DWW. We accomplished a lot during this time, but we were still figuring out a few details when we made the official transition. Another month or two would’ve helped us fine-tune things so that our team felt even more prepared.
3. Have a coverage plan for your day off.
Another challenge we faced was how to staff events for clients on Fridays, our new day off. Because we also support client events on Saturdays and Sundays, we decided to add Fridays to the weekend mix and created a Weekend On-Call calendar. Artists and project managers are assigned one on-call weekend each month, with any planned PTO taken into consideration.
4. Clients and customers may surprise you.
When we dropped Fridays from our work week, our clients respected the new schedule. Meaning, on Mondays we don’t return to endless emails and voicemails. This change took some time but we feel fortunate to have clients who trust us to deliver the same quality work and service in a compressed workweek.
5. The benefits of a paid day off every week are AWESOME.
From taking more time with loved ones, working on art and running errands, to taking long walks, gardening, and practicing Muay Thai, our team members are making the most of Fridays off. We love knowing that our team can confidently disconnect from work each week to focus on themselves.
No matter how your team works, finding a model that works for everyone is what matters most. For us, it’s a 4-day workweek. What does it look like for your company? We’d love to know and hear what you’ve learned along the way. Drop us a line!
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