Blog #3: How's the four-day working week going?

We have started the four-day working week. During the trial month, we look at how the 4-day working week works in practice, what we run into and how the 'Focus Day' is experienced by the employees. Check out the first findings in vlog number 3 of Gill below! Wouldn't you like to miss anything of the 4-day working week at Loyals anyway? Subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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Gill: "And here we are again. It's February 20th, vlog number 3. We are now 3 weeks into the trial month. And we're doing well!

We're doing pretty good, actually. It is a process of getting used to and adjusting. It's more change than you think. You're thinking: "It's positive and people are going to love it." They also pick it up nicely, but it's quite difficult now and then. So, we run into quite a few things. They're not very crazy, but they're things that we really have to stay focused on.

The very first objective is simply that the customer should not be bothered by it. That's actually where all the focus is on. As a result, we have a few things to do with planning and accessibility, which needs to be tightened up even more. We are now seeing some of that. Hopefully not the customer, but internally we have to work really hard on that. Maybe we need to rearrange certain days or look at the progress between certain teams. There is still some work to be done on this.

What's going well is that people really do take their focus day. Of course, you can do all kinds of things, however if you do what you can do on the weekend or in the evening, then it doesn't make much sense. Up until now, you just notice that people are really going to do something that gives them energy.

Anique, who also sits here, is for example very busy with her vegetable garden where cucumber is grown, and ginger is made. “What else are you making?"

Anique: "Just the normal things like tomato, cucumber, eggplant, peppers, lettuce, spinach, pumpkin. I think Artichoke is a really nice one that I'm going to try."

Gill: "And does that work for you? Do you notice that it gives you energy and you can go for it again?"

Anique: "Yes, because you just have a lot of distractions. You can't really deal with other things, so you're very focused. For example, you don't have time to update your Instagram on your phone and stuff like that. Therefore, for me, the four-day work week actually works a lot."

Gill: "I have to honestly say that I haven't actually had a real focus day yet. The first focus day went completely different than expected. The second focus day I went to a client because I had to. So that was no problem at all. And in the meanwhile, I am writing this on my third focus day... ;-)”

The four-day working week in practice

We talked with Your, Jer, Thijs and Lisanne about how things are and how they experience the 4-day working week.

Youri says it's going well so far. He doesn't see a huge drop in production yet or that we have a deficit, so that's positive. In fact, he sees that certain departments now have hours left in some areas. They can therefore be spent on customers again. The reason for this is that everyone works more efficiently and looks at their four days differently.

The best example comes from the administration department. They were actually the biggest opponent of the four-day working week, because they couldn't finish the work already. Here, they clearly indicated that they were doing double the work on the day after the focus day than they normally do on a working day. This is because they just didn't think about it for a moment and just popped through the week at once.

The biggest advantage that Youri now sees in the four-day working week is that employees are actually all super positive about the day. They are really busy with how they can best fill in that day for themselves. You also see a lot of different ways. The most important thing is that you see that the pleasure of working has come back after these two weeks. "The pleasure of working is increased by not working."

According to Jerry, the four-day working week in the Sales department certainly took some time to get used to. Normally they do a daily stand-up. On Monday morning they had the kick-off of the week and on Friday afternoon they had the kick-off of end of the week. They decided to merge that on Friday afternoon. Now on Friday they first do a short recap of the whole week, what went well and what went wrong. After that everyone has a schedule - a kick-off - for the following week and which appointments are running. This also seems to give more rest in the weekend.

By decreasing the pressure of daily tasks, everyone works more efficient. According to Jerry, this doesn't disturb the atmosphere. Especially because on Fridays, the general closing of the week is in the pub, where we all share our moments of success. During the week he does notice that the stand-up, for example, has become more business-like. By going through everything briefly and to the point, we get more freedom and work more efficiently. And that is very nice to see.

The fact that the focus day does not mean a day off is also evident in practice. For example, strategist Lisanne has a Cut the Crap session with a client on her focus day. And that always comes first. She also sees the focus day more as a gift and not a right. Because of this, it is no problem at all to have to work on her focus day. 

Don't want to miss anything? Stay tuned!

This was already the third update of the Loyals four-day working week. In the next update you will probably see the last part of the test month, or the first results in early March.

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