CMS Moving to a Four-Day Work Week
The pause for Covid-19 has led to many changes in organisations! For CMS Events, the opportunity to read and research during the slower times for the company has led them to implement a trial to move to a four-day work week as the standard way for the future.
The time allowed me to listen initially to a podcast by Dr Rangan Chattejee and then buy the book Shorter by Alex Pang. The book contains some great references and case studies and is well worth the read. The change can apply across many industries.
It is not a move to reduce hours and wages! Annual salaries and benefits remain the same. It is a strategic direction like many companies around the world to increase efficiency and provide staff with a better life work balance.
For example, in our case an immediate benefit will allow us to better provide for the return to work for a key employee from maternity leave. She is working just two days a week, but the structures and processes will assist greatly to the benefit of all. But that is just part of the story!
Many models are implemented from a five six-hour days to four nine-hour days, but the model chosen by CMS Events is for four eight-hour days with an additional 2 hours credited for self-development during time off and another 2 hours ‘banked’ for use at major events when a longer work week will be unavoidable.
After introducing the concept, the staff were excited and the process to date has been one of consensus with encouragement for all to be involved. We quickly decided that Monday would be the day off!
Research has indicated that by building efficiencies into the day to day work schedule that the ‘product’ becomes better, company profitability is increased, and staff are happier.
Efficiency initiatives include:
Reduction of interruptions of meetings and unnecessary interactions by structuring the day to the ultradian rhythms for better concentration and output. We are still working through this process as we have found during the testing that we all differ in our peak times.
Structured rest and time out for socialising and personal time. Although getting people to stop when they are on a role needs to be practiced.
Improvement in technology. Digital presence will be a major investment for our business.
Better office layout and environment.
The long-term benefits and strategy for CMS Events is to:
CMS Events is excited to have just started the trial period (from 14 September to 31 December 2020). Operating hours will be 8.30am to 5.00pm Tuesday to Friday with additional days added around event and project times. Outside of these times clients can use normal communications depending on the urgency to ensure delivery of services in the short term.
It is an exciting time for CMS Events and their staff and hopefully in the future it will be seen and a positive coming out of 2020 despite the terrible times of the world.
Comments are welcome from other businesses who may already be working on a four-day work week or looking into the possibility.