May 31, 2022
3 years ago working effectively from home was considered impossible.
Today, it’s celebrated as the ‘norm’. We look back on old ways with new lenses and the beauty of retrospect shows how flawed our original rigidity and thinking was. In 10 years from now, I guarantee we’ll be looking back with the same lens at our 5-day work-weeks.
The traditional five day week was standardised in 1926 and has not changed since. But if the pandemic and its aftermath have taught us anything, it’s that there’s always another way to do things. And a lot of the time, these new ways are exponentially better for everyone involved. As a collective, we’re slowly but almost certainly, unsubscribing from the ‘if it ‘aint broke don’t fix it’ attitude, and, instead are challenging ourselves and those around us to question the status quo. What is good but could be great? What functions but could fly?
Since the brand’s inception, we have strived to champion positive change and innovate in all that we do. Together, we’ve been in a perpetual pursuit of a better tomorrow. The values that we hold dear; sustainability, employee wellbeing and value-based work are all reflective in our decision to transition to the 4 Day Week and join the ‘No Fridays Club’.
The 4 Day Week movement has been building over a number of years. In 2015, Iceland transitioned to this model with amazing results, finding that the majority of employees had higher levels of productivity. Since then, numerous countries have jumped on board, running trials with promising results of up to a 40 percent increase in productivity. After reviewing a multitude of reports and studies from countries and companies producing phenomenal results, the transition for us was a no-brainer — The confidence we needed to make the call was written plain and simple in the data.
We all will be having Friday off, making every weekend a long weekend. In doing so, we hope to empower our team to spend more time doing the things they love in order to fuel inspiration and motivation during the hours spent working. Maybe taking the family to that renaissance fair or finally enrolling in that Pattern Making for Dog Garments class they’ve been putting off. And of course, allow them to properly rest and recharge to avoid the all too common work burnout.
We are embarking on this journey with the 4 Day Week Global ANZ Pilot Program, an international pilot program where companies are invited to give their workers a four-day week with no loss of pay for six months, to see if their business reaps the benefits of increased productivity from happier and healthier employees.
Employee wellbeing is another driving factor. In 2020, we officially transitioned to a Hybrid Work model, a method of working that we still utilise to this day with our team balancing WFH and office time how they each see fit. Our team reported improved wellbeing across a number of areas as this model allowed them to etch out more time in their everyday to do things that filled them up and spend time with those they care about. With the introduction of the 4 Day Week we hope to improve our team’s wellbeing even further beyond this measure by allowing them an extra day in their week that is simply for them. At Smack Bang, discussions of how we will be spending our Friday’s moving forward have been refreshing and inspiring. Having a day in your week that is just for you however you choose to spend it is empowering, as we know that life happens in the moments between the everyday grind.
A 4 Day Week is a huge drawcard when it comes to acquiring new talent. Employee expectations are higher than ever, as individuals feel more empowered to value themselves and what they bring to an organisation.
The 4 Day Week has also proven to be better for the planet. At Smack Bang, CO2 emissions will be reduced as our team will no longer be commuting to, or using our office space. Our team will be fully clocked off every Friday, meaning that digital emissions will also be reduced as the work tools will be put to rest. Although we already work a hybrid model with our team choosing their own balance between WFH and office time, we have now reduced the environmental impact even further by having one less day in our week.
Making this transition has sparked a greater focus on mindset at Smack Bang. For the 4 Day Week to work effectively, the collective mindset must shift from input to output. It is no longer about the hours clocked, but the impact you create.
For this new approach to work to thrive, we must find power in productivity. Our team has begun sharing productivity hacks as we begin the transition to this new way of work. It is each individual’s responsibility to understand how and when they work best and play to their strengths. Productive work is not one size fits all and it will take time for everyone to get into their groove. This focus on productivity means looking inward and reflecting on which gaps we can close using time management tools or new platforms to streamline and organise processes. We are also being more cognitive of time spent in meetings and where we can reduce time wasted to be more effective.
As with any new venture, there are going to be growing pains.
Each bump in the road is a new opportunity to fine-tune our systems and get better each day. We will be measuring our results, addressing problems as they arise and regularly reflecting on the journey.
We are thrilled to document our journey into the 4 Day Week world and share the many learnings we’re undoubtedly going to face along the way.
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