Can the 4-day week on full pay work? Reboot Digital PR is running a pilot to test if it can after benefiting from different ways of working during the pandemic.
Reboot Digital PR is ‘experimental by nature’, as noted by Abby Chinnery, the creative director at Reboot, and is continuously driven by looking for opportunities to boost employee productivity and well-being. Having grown into a prolific digital PR agency with more than 50 employees, attracting a vast array of clients such as JustEat, Uswitch and eToro, the team are always experimenting with new ways to shine, whilst maintaining unrivalled results for clients.
The pandemic posed several challenges, many agreeing that a ‘new normal’ towards the workplace was for the better. The team adapted incredibly well, with increased productivity, resulting in unparalleled output. This has since driven Reboot’s decision to adapt an entirely new work-from-home model, whilst experiencing a 702% increase in results over the last year.
Managing Director Naomi Aharony claims working from home became a ‘natural progression for our company, with far greater abilities to scout fresh talent, without the added limitations a permanent office space provides’.
Reboot’s Co-Founder and Managing Director Shai Aharony maintains that a 4-day week was always lurking in the shadows and ‘this sort of innovation – introducing a 4-day week – is in our DNA as a company’. Ultimately, what drew Shai and Naomi Aharony to take the leap of faith is having seen the results of the Icelandic trial in July, which had demonstrated that a 4-day week was not only viable, but incredibly beneficial in terms of productivity as well as mental health.
That alleviated many of the anxieties senior management and directors had, and Shai Aharony has noted that whilst a ‘4-day week is not viable for some businesses, we’re fortunate to work in a creative and forward-thinking industry, and I believe other agencies will follow this concept, as we’re very much used to adapting quickly, ensuring accommodating this change was streamlined’.
A 4-day week has become extremely popular during the pandemic to avoid stress, severe burnout and poor health. And whilst the model has its challenges, it is evident both practically and economically the 4-day week should benefit the entire company.
It will be trialled over a three-month period, in the hope that engagement, a more established work-life balance, enhanced productivity and increased welfare is rewarded, as Reboot will effectively lose 20% of work hours.
Part of the challenge is to ensure staff have everything they need to meet client expectations. Regular communication and realistic expectations implemented at an early stage is vital help to guarantee a mutually beneficial structure for clients and staff. As a result, the trial will be monitored closely to avoid challenges that hamper the ability of the initiative to continue permanently.
Reboot will measure employee performance on a weekly basis, utilising in-house KPIs as an indication, as well as comparing results previously achieved since January 2021.
Productivity will not be synonymous with performance but will instead be assessed through high to medium level
metrics, such as creative output, well-being, reported absences and client results.
To thoroughly assess employee well-being, Reboot will conduct anonymous surveys, alongside quarterly feedback surveys to gauge how the team feel towards the 4-day week initiative.