Because we first began a 4-day work week in May 2020, people have had a great deal of concerns about it. What day are we taking off? How long will we continue this practice? Is everyone truly working four-days a week or are some people working more?
Some of the answers to these questions have altered over the last few months, and I make certain some will continue to change and evolve as we learn more about running within a four-day work week. A little while ago, I chose to answer concerns about our four-day work week policy on Twitter, and I got a wonderful action. I have actually consisted of a top-level recap in this post, but feel free to take a look at the entire thread if you want to see every reply.
Without more ado, here are some of the questions I got about the four-day work week organized into a few top categories, together with my replies and those of Caryn Hubbard, our VP of Financing, and Åsa Nystrom, our VP of Customer Advocacy, who added to several answers.
Why a 4-day work week?Pranay asked
: Why did it take a pandemic to implement it and why is a 4 day work week matter – cant it just be about the work itself rather of timing it?
We have actually considered it for several years, and I have a fundamental belief that 5-day workweeks aren’t always ideal. The pandemic implied added tension for everybody, particularly for the parents in the team. I wanted to survive it with the team, mentally, in the very best position.I think that numerous companies that are squeezing every last drop they can leave their companies in regards to profit, efficiency, etc. unexpectedly faced issues in the pandemic. Growth goals to hit and no profit margin, implied layoffs for many companies.And when you make layoffs, you wear down trust significantly with your team. That can take years to develop back. I wanted to develop trust with my group through the pandemic. This was one of the very best ways that I thought to do it.How does it work?Niel asked: Does everyone take the very same day of rest? Or is it up to the individual? Or is it based upon teams? Or something more nuanced?In the start, we try out groups deciding the day, but understanding which day and having adequate
time for cross-team collaboration was a challenge. Honestly it felt quite chaotic. Now, we do Fridays besides Customer Advocacy which rotate the day.Shubham asked: Which 4 days of the week do you work? M -TH or Tu-Fr or something else? Do you discover that the group tries to fit in 5 days of operate in 4? For the
bulk of the team, we do M-TH. In the start I tried Wednesdays as my day of rest, and enjoyed that however I prefer Fridays now. 3-day weekends are very effective. I believe overall, the group attempts to work smarter. Possibly trying to fit 4.5 days into 4. David asked: woah didn’t understand you were doing this-love it what would your factors be for going back to 5 day? The factors would likely be not attaining our goals, which would be unfortunate due to the fact that
I basically do not think it’s putting in hours that will get us there.And, one essential thing is that gradually, we’ve understood that 4-days should feel like a privilege, not entitled. So, if you get your jobs and objectives for the week done, incredible-take that day of rest.
If you didn’t rather do enough for us to reach our objectives, invest part of Friday working.Scott asked: Doing a 4, 10’s type of deal? Or not tracking precise hours, rather output and movement?Not tracking exact hours, and more focus on tracking output. The objective is to accomplish the same if not more, in less general hours worked(more along the lines of 4 8’s ). Gaya asked: That’s awesome! Ideally more business will follow to normalise this. Q: Did the salaries stay the same? I understand individuals who are keeping back from working less because of decline in pay No change to wages at Buffer with our 4-day workweeks.
It’s less hours for the same pay. I don’t think in exact same hours in less days, since for me 4-day workweeks are really about a more essential belief that hours worked are not correlated with results.Stone asked: Love that you
did this! Do you build in any deep work/no conferences time too? Do you believe the pandemic was required for the transition/will you keep@it when workplaces resume? How positive are you that individuals aren’t working longer 4 days or really taking Friday off? For several years we’ve had conversations and focus on deep work, and many groups have a day with no meetings. I don’t believe the pandemic was needed to do it, but it was an incentive. I’m confident we’ll keep at it after, too. We’re already 100% remote so no actual offices.I’m positive in many
cases people are taking the Friday off. That stated, we likewise don’t actively dissuade working a little on Friday, if the employee feels that is needed to accomplish our goals. We have huge aspirations for what we can do for customers * and * innovating culture.How do specific teams and colleagues handle a
4-day work week?Dwija asked: Do you have moms working as full time staff members? If working hours of those 4 days increase -how do they manage? I know it depends upon them however just curious. Women are taking a hit-BIG TIME in Covid.( For instance: Yours truly) From Caryn: We have lots of moms and daddies at Buffer.
Our shift to the flexibility of a 4 day workweek has been among the most
essential things keeping my family of 5 healthy & safe this past year. The trust & versatility to work the schedule that works for me & my family is everything.From Joel: To add to the great insights Caryn shared, our decision to try a 4DWW was very much with moms and dads in mind. Working hours haven’t increased. We
strive as a group to make every effort to achieve our goals without routinely working more hours. More here.Mark asked: Does consumer support participate in the 4-day week? If so, how do you stagger hours/ satisfy consumer expectations?Yes, they do, however we still wish to serve customers to the exact same high level. With time, we’ve fine-tuned our 4-day workweek to drive us to push ourselves in the 4-days and seem like we’ve truly made that day off, not entitled to it.Our client support group is the one team that changes up the day off in order to ensure we preserve coverage for customers.Stefan asked: Are the customer-facing groups doing 4-day work
weeks also? If so, are they all off on Fridays? If so, are customers ’emails/calls not answered till Monday?No, we have to take a slightly more special method in our customer care group. We’re fully dedicated to supplying world-class service, and we understand the world works M-F (and even weekends). The particular day is different per employee, so more of a relay in that team.Have y’ all had
any concerns with a handoff from one employee to another in this relay system?From Åsa: Jumping in to aid with this q. No problems! We work in four-day blocks and use an appointed inbox flow to keep consistency in our client interactions. Our group covers most of the globe and are in continuous communication throughout the week to keep top of concerns etc.Jean asked: Do you have a strong consumer support team in regards to number of people? Are you likewise using this formula to tech team?Our client assistance team is 21 people out of 85. All groups embrace the 4-day workweek, however we also have goals we pursue and we see the 5th day as something earned not entitled.Mercer followed up with: Does that mean that your assistance group doesn’t always get the exact same time off? How do you strive to protect the time of your customer-facing teams( who so often do not get the very same blessings as the other groups around them)? It’s not necessarily that various for our support group, however it’s often more measurable for a support group. So we intend to be conscious of that. However we also have engineering groups that will work the fifth day if they don’t feel on track. Many teams work 4-days now.From Åsa: Everyone on the CS team works a 4-day block & has the exact same days off every week to make sure we have the same capability to disengage and charge! Being customer-facing does not mean we can’t participate in business efforts like these, it just suggests we require to plan a bit more.Sllyllyd asked: Do the more senior employee adhere to four days? In general, yes. Typically the more senior staff member are the ones who feel one of the most accountability and energy for goals, therefore we in some cases work the additional day to get ensure we’re on track. It’s not the norm, though, and when we do it’s usually just a couple of hours.From Caryn: There’s a high level of versatility and trust that we’ll meet our shared and specific goals w/in the schedule that works finest for us. As a mother of 3, my needs look different than fellow associates but I love that shared respect & trust. Sometimes I select to work 5 days.How is it going?Daniel asked: What’s better than you expected? What’s even worse than you expected? Much better: The additional day integrates in reflection time that we typically don’t include, where many of us solve problems. So in many ways, we do more significant work. Harder: Function ends up being much more essential. We require to feel driven to do fantastic work in the valuable 4 days we have.Purpose on an org level or individual level?Both. Particularly with the previous year we have actually had. The genuine magic is when org purpose feels intertwined with an individual sense of purpose, something deserving to pursue that can truly make a distinction. If org function seems like it serves society, individual purpose normally follows.Jesse asked: Are individuals get
as much done? Do you have per hour staff?We have no hourly personnel, which is necessary. This isn’t less hours for less pay, it’s less hours for the very same pay. In terms of efficiency, that’s tough to measure in this wild past year we’ve had. But, things look promising. Philosophically, I think we can get as much done.Awesome. Are individuals better and more fired up to come
to work? Increase in ethical? Did you see it level off?Yes, to all of that! You accomplished. We’ve
not felt it level off yet, there’s still a lots of thankfulness for the 4-day workweeks 9 +months in.André-Paul asked: What are the greatest changes you’ve observed within your group? Any new routines/behaviours/processes? Well, there’s certainly a brand-new level of gratitude. We’re here, trying out this wild brand-new thing, and getting this additional day for household or ourselves. It’s incredible. And with that, a sense of alongside getting flexibility, providing versatility too.What I indicate by getting versatility and providing flexibility is, specifically as a global group, we require to be open to conferences occasionally earlier in an early morning or late during the night, to make everything occur.
Especially with a 4-day workweek.So, a restored sense of, we’re
fortunate to have this extra flexibility however let’s be clever about how we operate in order to make 4-day workweeks actually work for us as a business and for customers, so we can keep having them.Ali asked: Has the rate of burnout gone down?It’s difficult to measure, but I believe definitely, it has. Or rather, 2020 was a year that drove
much more burnout than the majority of years and we lessened the quantity in part through executing the 4-day workweek.Michelle asked:
I can always discover more to do. Are people self-disciplined enough to really take Friday off and are people sufficient at understanding just how much they can actually get performed in a week or do they set goals that are too lofty and normally end up working Fridays?Great question. I believe it’s somewhere in the middle. I really believe
the majority of people now take Fridays off. However, we still have big aspirations as a business and so every so often we need to work a Friday. The real magic is when the Friday off helps you actually get more done.Luthfur asked: How are you determining efficiency? Put another way, how do you intend to decide on whether this is working out or not. Ultimately, we will make our decision based on whether we attain our objectives as a company. I basically believe though, that the 5-day workweek is a relic of the commercial era and not
necessarily the most efficient way to work. So I believe we can accomplish our objectives in 4DWWs. Among the benefits we have, is that financiers do not manage our business. We can take longer term stances and decisions, that we believe will lead
to terrific results in time.– If you or your team are trying a 4-day work week send me a tweet to share how it’s going for you, I ‘d enjoy to find out about it!