Like many local businesses, we emerged from the COVID pandemic having learnt new ways of working, increasing our effectiveness both internally and in our service offering to clients. This together with some substantial new client acquisitions (one of which became our largest client overnight, triggering us to take on five new staff), taught us a lot about effective time management and the need for a closer focus on work-life balance and mental health.
Having become aware of growing international interest in the concept of the Four Day Work Week, the concept piqued the interest of the company directors, who believed it could be a working pattern suited to Whitenoise, our client mix and staff members. With the understanding that we needed to offer an uninterrupted continuity of service across the normal working week, we divided our workforce into two equally balanced teams, with a Monday-Thursday and Tuesday-Friday work split.
Completely separate to the formal, UK-wide trial, we independently trialled this four day week pattern throughout the entirety of 2022, allowing us to track how our teams coped and clients responded throughout the seasonal ebb and flow of workloads coming in to the studio. Across our self-set yardsticks of staff wellbeing, client satisfaction, studio productivity and business profitability, it was a great success, so we announced to staff and clients that as of January 2023 this is our ’new normal'.
As a committed Four Day Week business, we’re proud to say all current and future staff benefit financially and in terms of work-life balance from our change to a four day working week. With a 20% reduction in working hours with no accompanying drop in salary, we are already seeing the benefits of this in terms of staff satisfaction and retention, as well as recruitment in an increasingly competitive hiring environment.