Implementing a four-day week and still being client led 

In episode 65 we were joined by Andrew Cross, Founder & CEO at Goosechase to discuss a very hot topic, how to make a four-day work week work. In this episode we talk about Goosechases experiences pioneering and trialling the four-day work week. 

We covered the results that Goosechase have seen from their trial, the draw backs and how a four-day work week has implemented talent attraction and retention. 

Below we outline some of the ways businesses can implement a four-day work week and still be client led. We hope you find them useful. 

When moving to a four-day week, what did you have to take into consideration? Were there any boundaries which had to be implemented to ensure that it was going to work? 

The world doesn’t really work on four day weeks now so our first concern is always that the clients are expecting communication – you can’t just go dark on the fifth day of the week. Upon implementing it you have to constantly be aware that there’s external considerations.  

There is also the question of how flexible you are with your team with which day they take off and whether or not you let individuals chose. We looked into some companies that had already written up their results and the one thing that we took away from that is to make sure that the day that people take off remains the same. Otherwise it’s a mess trying to collaborate with people and get together; if they all take different days off there is never going to be a day where you can get on a call or all meet. We realised early on that Friday’s would be the day off, then we had to consider the outward facing component. In our customer facing team, a couple of people every week take Wednesday off instead and will work on the Friday. That way we have a standardised schedule and make sure we still have coverage on the Friday. It’s a bit of give and take and having a flexible mindset, but those were the two main things that we had to figure out early on. 

Many companies I’ve worked with are client let and feel like if their clients want something on a Friday, then they’ve got to be there on a Friday. Is it as simple as having people swap their days? Or was there anything else which helped you have a day off when you’re client led? And do you think that it’s scalable? 

I think it is scalable and will benefit people. The more people that adopt the four day week, then the more common it will be for people to say on their website or on their email autoresponders that they work a four day week. It will eventually be acceptable, just like people don’t always expect coverage on Saturdays and Sundays. 

When you’re client led, it’s definitely a little bit trickier. We know that anybody who is creative is going benefit from not being sat down, like a robot, cranking out work for an entire five days. If you can position it in a way that lets your client know that you’re going to produce better outputs as a result of doing this, a lot of clients will be fine with this. They may not get as much response on the Friday, but the benefit and net results will be there.  

There’s some work that maybe is more hourly or time driven. We said we can’t have a two tier system internally where some people have to work a little differently due to the nature of their work. We decided that we would deal with the challenges of some work being harder, for example, sales is often very call driven with calls coming in during the day. But we made peace with that to make sure he have quality internally to be able to supercharge our creative people, who do produce quite a bit more by having a fresher mindset and not pacing themselves and grinding through the week.  

Find out more about the four-day work week and Goosechases experiences by listening to the full episode here. 

On Talent & Growth we speak to talent leaders about the challenges they face and their solutions for attraction and retention. If you’re interested in hearing about how companies are building a more diverse talent pool, how you can attract top people from the big players, ways to create a more inclusive interview process or learn about the latest and greatest automation software to make your life easier, then this is the podcast for you.

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