4 Day work week blog post (1)

Positioning our Global Staff for a Four-Day Work Pilot To Learn and Innovate

Herrmann believes in being on the forefront of helping organizations position its staff to work more productively and inclusively at scale. Our Whole Brain® Thinking is always about seeing the future and finding ways to ensure business process approaches are thoughtfully executed, measured, and collaborative. How can we do better? How can we be better?

Organizations are in a constant state of change. Not only from the lingering effects of COVID-19 with remote and hybrid workforces, but also in how organizations are reinventing themselves to be employee-friendly while maintaining high productivity standards in the age of the "Great Resignation". The 5-day in office work week is becoming a thing of the past. Now, employees are searching for more of a work-life balance. Employers should similarly adapt to grow in a fast-changing environment, in the face of having the reliable staffing teams in place to execute on their goals.

Toward this endeavor, Herrmann is piloting a four-day work week for its global teams during the fourth quarter of 2022. Herrmann Leadership has been discussing this idea around the four day work week for almost a year now.  For the last month thoughtful discussions with staff  have been taking place -- on the how and the who, because the success of this pilot will be having the buy-in and leadership from our staff ultimately driving this pilot. A four-day work week consists of transitioning to four eight hour work days, making a 32-hour week work schedule (with variations depending on role and industry), with no reduction in pay. A survey by Gartner Inc. found a shorter week to be a favored recruitment and retention strategy. 

We hope to learn how to create better efficiencies to increase our productivity to lead to better ways of doing our day-to-day jobs. (800 × 200 px)

The results thus far have been promising. Six-month pilot programs with over 180 companies are currently underway in a half-dozen countries. Studies from more than 70 UK firms has found productivity has been maintained or improved in a majority of the firms.  Does it work for our business? We will see. We're about innovation and this is just another example of it.

As we prepare for this pilot, we are building out a whole brain process that will focus on the what, why, who and how. Each team is building a model that will work best for them. Customers will continue to get 5 day a week coverage. Teams will get smarter about effective internal meetings, individuals will get clearer on the essence of their role, building asynchronous communication channels in Slack, and further developing knowledge bases for team coverage.

A question that we are asking is: What will we learn? Honestly we aren’t sure yet. We hope to learn how to create better efficiencies to increase our productivity to lead to better ways of doing our day-to-day jobs. Through analysis, we hope to identify what activities are adding value and which ones need to be changed to add value. The result is creating a sense of empowerment for our teams. Once employees have clarity on how to grow and create better options, our team should also start to feel empowered to share ideas and better ways of doing work. We will be assessing, learning and adjusting all throughout the pilot. Change can be fearful or it can be one that presents possibilities.

Change & Stages of Transition

We look at this as something we can learn and share findings to our customers and the broader organizational population. Harnessing cognitive diversity in our regular flow of work is just as important when trialing new change processes. Like many organizations, our employees are one of our greatest assets. We value them and look forward to seeing how we can innovate and collaborate to further improve work-life balance and continue to create a future-focused culture mindset.

Tags: innovation, Teams, Whole Brain Thinking, employee development, culture, work week

The four-color, four-quadrant graphic, HBDI® and Whole Brain® are trademarks of Herrmann Global, LLC.

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