In recent months, as many companies have started to map out new work policies for their employees in the post-COVID era, it transpires that finding the best arrangement is a case of trial and error.
So was the case for Olivia Webb, Co-Founder of UK-based RedSprout Media, who shared her company’s experience in this area, saying “we made a decision recently to move to a four-day week. We instantly regretted it.”
Ms Webb explains where her company went wrong: “We didn’t ask people if they actually wanted it, a four-day week is not the answer to more flexibility, it’s a one-size fits all approach and doesn’t work for everyone,” and “it means you’re STILL telling people how they should be doing their work.”
Instead, the Co-Founder says that the company changed its approach, and started by understanding what working patterns suit each individual employee, learning what’s important to them at work and supporting them in whatever they need to do their job well.
This could mean more work from home days, four-day weeks, or remote working most days of the week. “As employers, we thought offering a four-day week would be an attractive benefit. But like a traditional nine-to five, it still dictates strict working hours. And why should that be down to us to decide?”
She adds that, for her creative team, nine-to-five doesn’t work, and neither does a four-day week. “What does work for us is focusing on output and results. NOT hours spent staring at computer screens”, concluding that “we now operate a work whenever, wherever policy”.
He emphasises the importance of ‘the right approach’ to doing business and building relationships.
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