The idea of moving to a 4-day work week sounds amazing, right? But like anything, the devil is in the details. Here are some key considerations when adopting a 4 day work week with your team.
As discussed in a previous article, understanding WHY you are looking to start a 4 day work week Playbook is necessary to provide context to you, your team, and your leadership. Is the team starting to burn out and do you believe a 4 day work week would do wonders for morale? Or maybe you are a Sales Leader and you believe that a 4 day work week will actually lead to faster revenue growth?
Once these questions have been answered, you can work towards providing context to your team and starting your 4 day work week.
When adopting a 4 day work week for a shorter period of time (say a few weeks or a quarter), it's best to understand that you're using that as a performance and well-being tool. And this tool requires a larger commitment to the purpose and mission of the company, your team, your clients, and your community. So when we say set goals and scrap the rest, the idea behind it is to align on all the tasks that need to be completed and to scrap the rest if the perceived value isn't there.
If the goal is performance and well-being, then we can assume that that dreaded "meeting that could have been an email" needs to go, right?
All that time spent preparing for the meeting, jumping on Zoom, and bickering back and forth not only lowers productivity, but it is generally a waste of time.
Instead of meetings, use email, set up a Slack channel, etc. But either way, on these days off, you want to try and limit communication as much as possible.
Pro tip: Set up guidelines and rules for your team to follow if communication is 100% necessary during your time off.
Using a 4 day work week Playbook as a tool to drive well-being and performance on a TEAM level is a new concept. Historically, 4 day work weeks have been primarily driven by HR, and have been adopted on a company-wide level. While this strategy obviously has value, we believe that a better use case is to utilize it on a team level more often, and with greater success.
That said, this new use case does require some approval from possibly HR leaders and other levels of upper management.
To drive this conversation, ideally, you should have data (which LEON and its Performance Index can provide you) or some sort of subjective measure that is the proper time to start a 4 day work week Playbook with your team.
Adopting 4 day work week isn't all spicy margaritas and Friday beach days. It's important to understand what blockers might come to pass.
Adopting a 4 day work week may sound amazing, but for some people on your team learning to "shut it down" can be hard. As a leader, it is important to support your team members through this transition.
Make sure to plan ahead properly, and to make sure your team feels safe taking a day off from work responsibilities.
Just because you started a 4-day work week doesn’t mean clients stop needing you on Fridays. So, make sure to adopt a policy where the necessary teams trade off between Mondays and Fridays off. That way, there’s support in essential functions five days a week.
Motivation for personal and financial growth - especially in the world of high growth startups - can make you question the value of adopting a 4 day work week. So make sure to communicate with your team regularly on the mission behind a 4 day work week.