Introducing a Four-Day Workweek: A Six-Month Experiment

Written by: Maria Kazarez

At SOAX, we understand the importance of work-life balance and the positive impacts it can have on the health and productivity of our team. With that in mind, we have decided to introduce a four-day work week, with Fridays off, as a six-month experiment.

How it all started?

We put our people first, always. So we continuously think of ways to help employees maintain their life-work balance and increase productivity all while contributing to their overall happiness and well-being. Thankfully, we are a fully remote company and have a lot of flexibility and room for experimenting when it comes to how we organize our work.

Step one

We started with a "work from anywhere" approach.
No restrictions on geo locations or time zones. Currently, our team is spread over several continents and it has no negative impact on our collaboration.

Proved successful.

Step two

Implementation of flexible working hours.
Since we all are already in different time zones, why should we be demanding some specific hours of operation? As long as the work gets done, our employees are free to choose when to work. So now all our early birds and night owls are accommodated and productive.
Proved successful.

Step three

Introduction of no-calls Fridays.
After some research and team reviews, we realized that Zoom meetings are taking up too much time: "I don't have time to work since I am always on Zoom calls". Well, this was disturbing but not very surprising. As Zoom fatigue is not fun, we asked team leaders to strictly reconsider and cut down the number of calls if possible. Also, all employees were encouraged to adopt a "this Zoom could be a Slack message" mindset and mercilessly question the necessity of all calls that come their way. It got some getting used to but in a month we were able to reduce the number of calls by approx 10% . We also introduced no-calls Fridays to let all team members create time for some peaceful non-interrupted work. In a month of implementation, 80% of employees reported that having zero calls on Fridays indeed helps them to get shit work done.
Proved successful.

Step four

Introduction of a four-day workweek.
While a concept of a four-day work week is not groundbreaking, it is not widely adopted. This is surprising since the companies that moved to a shortened week report nothing but improved happiness and productivity of their employees. For us, this felt like a natural next step in creating an environment for growth and innovation. We believe in working smart, not working specific amounts of hours. Our hope is that an additional rest day will help our team relax better and empty some headspace for innovative and creative juices for Mon-Thu work. It will sure require some getting used to, so we decided to turn our four-day work week into a six-month long experiment to see what and where we need to adjust to make it work. 
We recognize that this experiment may not be successful and that it is still unclear whether the four-day work week is the right solution for our business and our team specifically. However, we are excited to try this new schedule and believe that its potential benefits are worth exploring. Hopefully, we will create a more balanced and productive environment for our employees and look forward to the results.

Stay tuned for monthly experiment updates!

Maria Kazarez

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