Following a successful nine-month trial, digital estate planning solution provider Arken.legal has officially introduced a four-day working week for full time employees.
According to the company, key outcomes of the trial include:
The reduced working week has made a ‘significant difference’ to job satisfaction and family life for nine in ten staff
95% say they are either equally (19%) or more (76%) efficient and productive doing their job in four days as opposed to five
81% of employees are more likely to stay at Arken.legal now the 4-day week has been introduced
Since October 2020, all full-time employees at the firm have had Fridays off – with the exception of two staff who take a different day to ensure cover – but have maintained the same level of output.
Arken.legal believes that the result has been an increase in productivity and efficiency, improvements in job satisfaction and a better work-life balance for staff. It has also changed the way staff rate the company. Eight in ten say it has improved their view of their employer and 85% say the introduction of the four-day week has increased the time they are likely to stay with the organisation.
Staff can use their day off however they wish. While some do catch up on work, most use it to spend more time with family or do chores and run errands so they can free up their weekends.
Many also use the day for upskilling and fitness. The four-day week also gives staff the opportunity to take long weekends away without having to book holiday.
Speaking of the change, an Arken.legal employee said:
“School drop off/pickups and then upskilling – it’s a lot harder to find the energy to do this after work in the evenings so to have a day available for this is amazing. Then late afternoon with the kids.”
Outputs and outcomes
Arken.legal ran the trial period covertly, and none of their clients realised that staff were working a four-day week, proving outputs were maintained despite the reduced hours. Pippa Shepherd, Head of Customer engagement at Arken.legalexplains the four-day week was always something the company had been advocates of, and lockdown offered the perfect opportunity to put it into action. She said:
“Studies show that a four-day week boosts employee work life balance and lowers burnout without sacrificing productivity, as well as challenging gender inequality, and we had been supportive of the idea for some time.
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“Then, following the first lockdown, which proved not only that productivity could be maintained in a non-traditional remote working environment, but also that maintaining a good work-life balance is absolutely key to overall wellbeing – we decided to pilot the scheme, and it has been a huge success.”
“If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it is that we need to create a more sustainable way of working, one that improves business productivity, but has worker wellbeing at its core. By introducing a four-day week we have been able to improve work-life balance, strengthen families, and reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing productivity, and we would urge all businesses to consider it.”
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