4*9+1/2 Work Schedule

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Is a 3-day weekend the key to a balanced life?

During the pandemic, we got to experience working remotely. Luckily, in our type of work, it was pretty easy to adjust. However, after some time, it was becoming difficult to disconnect and the lines between work and personal life started to blur. 

So, how do we make sure everyone gets a healthy balance and keeps her/his skills on the cutting edge of tech?

At IdeaHub we decided to implement a 4-day 9-hour work schedule followed by 4 hours of self-improvement time Friday dedicated to learning and trying new tech.
The idea was to offer flexibility and to give everyone enough time to rest and have some fun during the extended weekend.

The employees still have access to the same benefits and receive the same salary as if they had a traditional schedule because they work the same number of hours.

Our colleagues have already experienced this work program for about 3 months and the consensus is WE LIKE IT.

The key benefits

– Productivity: coming into work fully recharged makes a big difference and keeps away the Monday blues

– Employee retention and improved recruitment: people are looking for flexibility, so offering an extra day off makes a difference

– Mental health: employees are happier and less stressed. Free Fridays allow employees to take care of their personal tasks – we all know that running around town with errands and trying to get back to your next meeting is a hectic mess and bad use of PTO

– Stronger team: the program could not succeed without shared accountability and ownership. We clarified how we communicate and make sure issues do not go unsolved and made a clear plan on how to support each other


Of course, there are some challenges, but none were a deal-breaker:
– inequality between workers: this program may not work for all employees. Adopting the new work schedule was optional and it depended on the individual to truly understand whether it fits them

– downtime and availability: Yes, sometimes there is work on Friday – but exceptions have solutions. For some projects, it was as easy as a round-robin assignment of support and for others building a tiered leveled support

If a compressed work week doesn’t turn out to be your dream schedule, give yourself permission to return to a standard work week. But if you can, make sure to try it out, and don’t be afraid to experiment.