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10 steps to take before introducing a 4 day week

If your company is contemplating introducing a 4 day week we would strongly recommend completing each of these 10 steps:

1) Conduct a survey with all your team to ask whether they actually want it or not? This can be simply sent as an internal questionnaire where you detail some of the options listed below. Making sure everyone is clear of the implications and expectations.

2) Clarify what exactly you mean by a four-day workweek.

Does this mean effectively working 32 Hours but getting paid for 40? Or does it mean taking one day off a week with an expectation to extend the work time on the other four days to make up the 40 hours? Alternatively, it could simply mean reducing the working week to 32 hours and your people decide on when to work these hours.

3) Whatever option you choose, consider how you plan to manage wage and hour issues.

How do you plan to compensate those who decide to work overtime on their day off? How much flexibility can you provide whilst aiming to maintain high levels of productivity?

4) How can you ensure you keep an excellent level of customer service?

It is obvious to say that if all the company were to take Friday off this would have a negative impact on your business. A requirement to stagger the days off is crucial. For example, half the company could take Mondays off, the other half Fridays. However, on each of these days, you must be able to maintain full and remarkable service.

5) Maintain excellent levels of consistent communications.

Optimising team meeting time and having a regular rhythm to your meeting schedule will ensure everyone adapts to the new way of working. Confusion and conflict arise when expectations are not being met and a primary reason for this occurring is due to communication lines not being clear. GetFocused is a tool that can certainly help make sure everyone remains focused on what matters and remain on the same page.

6) Provide training on the new working style

Whether it is on conducting effective meetings or simply in maintaining healthy habits whilst working remotely.

7) If a person is not working on a particular day - do not contact them on that day.

This will help ensure that employees embrace the time they are off rather than thinking they should be at work dealing with matters that arise. You may consider introducing a ‘code red’ policy where employees can only be contacted on a day off, only if the matter cannot be dealt with the following day or by another person.

8) Maintain high levels of transparency and accountability within your internal communications (again GetFocused can help you here).

This helps build a culture of trust and respect within your organisation.

9) Test introducing the 4 day work week for 8 weeks.

This will give you an insight into how the shift will work. Enabling you to evaluate what impact it has on productivity and overall morale. Understanding the trial will have a finish date will encourage everyone to work in sync to assess whether it is right for everyone or not.

10) Lastly, consider implementing a ‘management by objective’ philosophy within your organisation.

Build ‘objective-focused’ teams that have the best skills within your resource to meet that result. A manager’s primary focus is to delegate remotely rather than manage remotely. Empowering and having confidence in their people to work autonomously and with enthusiasm. Regular check-ins help build this trust and deal with any unexpected surprises should they arise.

Thank you LizandMollie for allowing me to use your fantastic illustrations.

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