The Case for a Four Day Week

Author: Jay Love @SlingshotSEO

After living within the confines of a four-day work week during the past four months at Slingshot SEO, my first reaction to questions about this unbelievable perk is “Why not?” Small business owners, CEOs and executives from all over the country ask me on a weekly basis if it really works. My answer is a resounding YES!

Obviously, if you have a large customer service component to your business or if you must be open for retail hours, it takes a bit of ingenuity and some scheduling prowess to adjust to this type of schedule. Perhaps after reading this blog post you will want to try a pilot version of the famous Slingshot SEO four-day work week in your business. If you do, I would love to hear how it goes or answer a question or two.

First, though, let me explain the “why” behind this concept, beginning with a very important aspect of the “people” portion of any business – the “company culture.” Believe it or not, many aspects of our culture are directly related to this special perk. Here are a few of the reasons for that statement and perhaps a few questions you should ask yourself as a business owner:

  1. How much more innovative and exciting would your business be if every single team member spent one full day each week devoted to research? What insights, new ideas and energy would be pumped into your business?
  2. Such a perk is an amazing draw in the age of recruiting the best in talent to your team. Like a hit song, your HR department needs a “hook” to snag the cream of the crop. It will make an incredible difference.
  3. Tied into No. 2, your employee retention rate literally soars. Who would ever want to give up three days at home, only commuting four days a week–and the cerebral exercise of weekly research?
  4. Even though the team is working 10-hour days, the sense of urgency brings a high level of energy, and, in my opinion, focused collaboration. It is a joy to watch and to be sucked up into.
  5. The extra time for research makes for a well-informed team and the realization they have something unique. (Plus, meeting a repairman on a Friday or planning numerous three-day getaways is never taken for granted …)
  6. In our case, Thursday nights after work become an even bigger chance for team socialization and fun. This also seems to be vital to retention rates. A recent study indicated the No. 1 reason for a person not to change jobs is based upon having a close friend at the same company. Sort of makes sense, right?

Add these six reasons along with three or four you likely came up with while reading this blog and you should come to the conclusion that the extra focus, energy, teamwork and dedication resulting from a four-day work week will drive your productivity skyward! Not a bad outcome for a simple idea.

Jay Love, a respected technology entrepreneur, joined Slingshot SEO, No. 58 on the 2011 Inc. 500 list, in August 2011 as chief executive officer. @SlingshotSEO

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About davidmorganjenkins
I am an experienced international, commercial, strategic business leader delivering customer focussed initiatives for world class leisure & sports brands. I have a credible track record of leadership and senior management experience in particular with business operations, marketing & business development within leisure, sport, ecommerce/retail & B2C sectors. I have a unique creative vision, supported by sound financial management & budgetary responsibility having increased brand awareness, sales & core revenue by 60% & profit 200 % at Football Aid over a 3 year period. In parallel, I am centred on attention to detail ensuring a consistent product offering and the greatest possible customer experience. This is delivered through strong collaborative teamwork and creating a culture of creativity, determination and enthusiasm amongst team members. I possess an ability to cement & develop relationships at all levels and can easily engage, report to & upwardly manage share & stakeholder alliances ensuring delivery of business objectives. Key skills Developing & implementing business plans focussing on sales, profits & volume Bringing sales & marketing strategy to life to inspire customers; making visions/dreams a reality Customer service; driving enhanced customer satisfaction & delivering a reputation for excellence Developing, influencing & implementing plans & partnerships that deliver competitive advantage Effective planning & delivery of multiple channel, venue & geographical programmes & projects Leading & managing operation, marketing & business development teams to believe in their ability to succeed Experience headlines Commercial; sales, strategy, development, marketing, sponsorship, promotion, customers service Business administration: P&L, performance, improvement & operational management Marketing & brand; communications, brand management, development & membership/loyalty Ecommerce & retail; FMCG, optimisation, data (CRM), social media, SEO, PPC & affiliates Technology; CRM, web TV, new media, smart phone/iPhone applications

2 Responses to The Case for a Four Day Week

  1. Tom says:

    JL – I couldn’t agree with the principle of the 4 day week more. My son JJ will be starting primary school this August. Until then, I will continue to spend each and every Friday with his company – just as I did with his older sister before she started school. It is a wonderful time I will never get back again, and I’m none the worse for it.

    Way back in the depths of last century I worked as a temp for a large Edinburgh-based Financial Services Company. Employees were in at nine and out-at-five for five days of the week, every week, and were well looked after. Yet the workload was so sparse many folk were forced to invent ways of filling their time in order to justify their existence.
    One favourite was to print out a blank sheet of paper, walk to the printer, fold it inwards, and walk the blank document around the office in an official manner. Whenever senior “management” would poke their heads into the department, it looked like everyone was busy.
    I attended a half-hour department meeting (over twenty people), in which we ascertained we had gotten through to many too many disposable Bic pens. It no doubt took some fool twenty minutes applying to a central purchasing department in order to procure another box of fifty.

    Week after week, this adds to an incredible amount of time, resource, and human life that – I understand – still blights the institution to this day.
    OK, it’s an extreme example, but there’s always time for a four day week.

    Thanks to David Jenkins @ Fettes Management for bringing your article to my attention.

    TE

  2. Wes says:

    We are piloting a four day work week in my firm right now. I do have a question about holiday weeks. How do you handle those that fall on Monday? We allow our employees to pick which day they want off and it either is Monday or Friday. Any suggestions on how to schedule a holiday week?

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