All humility aside? I consider myself to be a really forward-thinking CEO, and I strongly believe in fostering a healthy work-life balance … as well as providing an environment that supports the wellbeing and productivity of our team members. In line with this vision, I am excited to announce The Digital Picnic’s decision to adopt a 4-day work week at our digital marketing agency.
[we’re a little late to the party by 4-day work week standards, sure, but not really by our particular industry’s – known for its “always on” status – standards].
This significant shift will not only benefit our employees but also lead to enhanced productivity, improved job satisfaction, and increased client satisfaction.
In this blog post, I’ll explore the advantages of a 4-day work week and discuss how our agency is preparing for this [seriously big] transition. We hope it’ll kick off by February 2024, but I’ve made it really clear to my team that I’m not rolling this big decision out “half-baked”, i.e before it’s ready. We need all of our “ducks in a row” before a February, 2024 kickoff … and if they’re not in a row? I’ll be pushing this out until they are.
Read on if you want to learn about what we’re doing to prep for this big decision, and – more importantly – what we’re doing to ensure our “ducks are in a row” so that this concept is a hit, instead of a big miss.
Part 1: first? I began to understand the benefits of a four day work week
Increased productivity: contrary to common belief, reducing the work week from five days to four can actually boost productivity. By compressing the work week, employees tend to be more focused, motivated, and efficient. They are likely to prioritise tasks, eliminate distractions, and make the most out of their working hours.
Enhanced employee wellbeing: offering an additional day off allows employees to rejuvenate, pursue personal interests, and spend quality time with loved ones. This leads to reduced stress levels, improved mental health, and increased job satisfaction. Consequently, it’s my humble hope that our team members will return to work refreshed and energised, contributing to a more positive work environment.
Attracting and retaining top talent: embracing a 4-day work week can act as a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talented digital marketing professionals.
I recently consumed an Instagram Reel that said to employers, “if you’re not raising every employees’ salary by 7% … you’re failing them”. I burst into tears, effective immediately [I was admittedly having an already tough week in small business ownership-land and really triggered by that content, lol. S’ok, tho. I immediately went “phone down” after consuming it, and – sadly – unfollowed the account for a break from that content. I love this account. I’ll come back to it. Just likely not in 2023. #lol].
In a year [and climate] where it feels like small businesses are doing everything possible to stay open, I can assure you that a 7% increase across the board [i.e x17 employees at TDP] would literally close our doors [and I myself have recently taken a 20k salary decrease, which was immediately followed by a 30k salary decrease … just to ensure we continue to sail as smoothly as possible throughout 2023 and its associated economic downturn BS].
I thought to myself, “that Instagram Reel is incorrect. You can’t just increase everyone by 7% in service-based industry land. It just doesn’t work like that. You instead need to communicate salary bandwidths openly [which we do], and when my team subsequently hit the top of their bandwidth … I’m open with them and tell them they’d need to be promoted to go beyond their that bandwidth, and if there are no immediate promotion opportunities? … I lean into my lack of scarcity complex and ab-so-lute championship for them, and I advise them to seek more elsewhere”.
What I lack in offering 7% increases to all, year on year, I can make up for in work/life balance [which is arguably worth more than a 7% salary increase for some] … and nothing screams “balance” like a 4-day work week.
By accommodating this need, The Digital Picnic positions itself as an employer of choice, attracting skilled candidates who are passionate about their work and value their personal lives.
Part 2: then? I prepared to make the transition [and I’m giving myself time, because we are in no way four day work week ready yet]
Assessing workloads and priorities: before implementing the 4-day work week, we are conducting a thorough analysis of workloads, client expectations, and project deadlines. By assessing priorities, we can allocate resources effectively, streamline processes, and ensure a smooth transition without compromising on the quality of our services in any way, shape, or form.
Adjusting work schedules: our agency understands the importance of flexibility. We will be working closely with our employees to design personalised work schedules that accommodate their preferences while meeting client needs. By empowering our team members to have a say in their working hours, we foster a culture of trust, autonomy, and accountability.
Embracing technology and automation: adopting digital tools and automation can significantly improve efficiency and productivity. It’s 2023, after all. We have already invested in cutting-edge technologies and software that streamline repetitive tasks, freeing up time for our employees to focus on strategic initiatives and creative problem-solving … and I imagine the investment[s] will continue as we itch closer and closer to our 4-day work week kickoff.
Open communication and collaboration: a successful transition requires open and transparent communication. We are encouraging dialogue and feedback from our employees at every stage of the process. This enables us to address concerns, identify areas for improvement, and ensure everyone is aligned with our goals and vision.
It’s a trial: additionally, I want to emphasise that the implementation of a 4-day work week at TDP will be a trial period. We understand the importance of carefully assessing the impact of such a significant change on our operations and client deliverables. During this trial phase, we will closely monitor the outcomes, gather feedback from our team members and clients, and make necessary adjustments to ensure a successful transition. By approaching this as a trial, we can address any challenges that may arise and fine-tune our processes to create a sustainable work model that benefits everyone involved.
Transitioning to a 4-day work week is an exciting step forward for this here humble digital marketing agency. By prioritising work-life balance, we are investing in the wellbeing and productivity of our employees. This shift will not only attract top talent but also strengthen our client relationships and enhance overall company performance. As we prepare for this transformation, we remain committed to creating an environment that encourages growth, creativity, and work satisfaction.
Together, we are shaping the future of work in the digital marketing industry.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our journey towards a 4-day work week, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m an open book, and am always keen to share my experiences and insights with you.
Will it be a win? A flop? A disaster, even? … only time will tell!