Devcom Review Part 1: The truth about the 4 day work week

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Speaker: Joe Brammer - The truth about the 4th day of work

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The COVID-19 pandemic has reignited conversations about the four-day workweek, causing workers and employers to reconsider workplace flexibility and benefits. Rather than working four days a week, employees would work four days a week while earning the same salary and benefits. Reducing the workweek, therefore, means fewer meetings and more independence for companies. In addition to increasing worker satisfaction and productivity, advocates for the four-day workweek recommend implementing it to improve employee productivity and work-life balance. As unions across Europe call for four-day working weeks, what is the actual result and impact of such a policy? Joe Brammer, CEO of Bulkhead, answers this question.
Choosing the right person in the UK is difficult, much less attracting talent. Joe had a similar encounter and tired the 4th-day work weeks. As part of the planning, he was pretty detailed about balancing both the company’s goal and employee happiness. He was able to create a win-win solution that would reduce the company’s output loss and employee satisfaction.

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In the presentation, he outlines the three best approaches for minimizing potential losses and keeping internal morale high. First, he believes that coworkers work better and communicate better when they work in the same space. His experience shows that coworkers on the same floor create better harmony and better productivity, making backlogs less frictional. Furthermore, his team was able to handle the four-day work weeks crunch better at the office as opposed to working from home.

A second solution was to create a system of the red day and blue day by moving the free Friday to a national holiday in the same week and having one Friday every month where people can meet and have activities together, like team building. During a red day system, if there’s a national holiday in a week that’s not a Friday, then all employees must be present on Friday except for the holidays of Christmas and New Year. A blue day system, on the other hand, is a Friday every month on which people gather for fun, hence, it is not technically a holiday either, but neither is it a work day.

Finally, Joe stipulated on the working contract that employees would be entitled to company-controlled holidays and free holidays, which can be submitted as usual.

What about the adaptability and result? Although work output is decreased due to new arrangements and people get anxious to cram 5 days of work into 4 days, they make it into the culture and fit nicely in their workflow. He still wants to keep the working arrangement until 2023.

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Joe suggests at the end of his presentation that 4-day work weeks are not for every company. It depends on the internal culture and the needs of the company. In this type of arrangement, there are a lot of internal and external adjustments that need to be made, as well as affecting the investor, partners, or publishers. The key is to keep in touch constantly. Regardless of how big or diverse the companies are, 4-day work weeks must be arranged well through planning and internal cooperation.

 

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