This week, thousands of workers will begin their participation in a trial of working a four-day week whilst, crucially, being paid 100% of their usual pay.
The idea of working a four-day week is gaining momentum, and lots is being written about the benefits (for a great in-depth exploration I would recommend 'The 4 Day Week' by Andrew Barnes). This week you'll find articles from The BBC, The Guardian, The FT, and more, following the trial announcement. The world of work is changing, and it's pretty exciting!
Turns out, our happiness and productivity doesn't positively correlate with the number of hours spent at our desks.
It might seem contradictory, but there is mounting evidence that introducing a four-day work week is actually making organisations more productive as well as the clear benefits to the wellbeing of the team.
For Beacon, a four-day work week helps us to answer a few important questions as our organisation grows and evolves:
The world of work has changed and expectations around remote work have changed beyond what anyone could have predicted in 2019. However, at Beacon, we passionately believe that the best way to build software is to have smart humans in a room together. Zoom, Teams, and Hangouts are all useful, but in the same way that nobody wants to go to a wedding over Zoom, we don't want to build our product over Zoom. We don't think the lockdown way of working is the best way!
But we know that we can't return to business as usual, so we've been exploring different, innovative options for how a modern office should operate.
We want Beacon to be an amazing place to work. Not a good place. Not even a great place. Our organisation needs to be genuinely amazing, and on the forefront of exploring how to achieve that. A four-day week is a great way to offer improved work/life balance for our team.
We set ourselves very high standards for the Beacon product, and similarly high standards for the level of service that we provide. Achieving these goals requires brilliant people and we need to make sure that we can attract great people, and keep the tremendous team that we've built so far.
There are many different flavours of the four-day work week. For us, a true four-day week is about embracing the 100/80/100 model:
That last point is crucial. We will be shipping 100% of the product updates, delivering 100% on all of our existing targets, and providing 100% the same standard of service.
At Beacon, everyone will be taking the same day off: Friday. We'll be keeping the same flexibility around working from home when we need to (everyone gets deliveries!) but the usual place of work will be our office in Shoreditch, from Monday - Thursday.
In order to make this work, it's the responsibility of the whole team to find ways to be more productive. This means things like cutting out unnecessary meetings, adding 'Do not disturb' flags to everyone's desks so it's clear when we need to focus, and ruthlessly automating as many of our manual admin tasks as possible. The reward is so juicy that we're all working hard to find ways to make everything more efficient!
Our level of support has been voted 5/5 for 3 years running (2020, 2021, and 2022) and we're not about to let that slip.
Our customer success and product teams have a clear rota whereby we'll be able to provide the same standard of support throughout the entire 5 day week.
Existing weekend emergency cover and policies have been extended to cover Fridays, so there's still always someone on hand in an emergency.
This is a journey for our team, and if our standards slip then we're not honouring the spirit of providing 100% of the same service, and we'll need to re-evaluate how we're working.
We're all really excited about this next step for Beacon, and how it will help us to continue to deliver a best-in-class product by a best-in-class team.
If you have any questions, then you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.