Laura Graham, Freelance Writer, Development Specialist & Positivity Blogger of It’s Character Building interviews Tom White, Managing Director of Gungho Marketing about the perfect balance of a 4 day week.
”What do you mean, you only work 4 days a week ?”
We get this slightly bemused question from people all the time. Partly it’s a bit of the green-eyed monster, (who doesn’t want a 3-day weekend); partly its confusion about how we’re so successful given that we appear to work part-time. Well, the truth is we don’t actually work part-time. We work a 40 hour week like most businesses, we just work ours over 4 days instead of 5. It means that our teams work 10 hour days, Monday to Thursday, either starting at 8 am and finishing at 6 pm, or starting at 10 am and finishing at 8 pm.
”Did you just not fancy working on Fridays?”
Well, no. The decision to structure our business this way was based on logic. You see, we have developed a client base that requires us to call into multiple time zones. It posed a bit of a problem, to begin with. We tried different shift patterns across a standard 5 x 8 hour days but who wants to finish at 9 pm on a Friday night? It was hard to recruit for and difficult to retain the highly skilled staff that our work requires. Understandably, we all felt tired and sickness was a real problem. That’s definitely not good for anyone, not least our clients. So we thought outside the box and took the decision to work in a way that better suited our team and our industry.
Our standard working patterns allow our teams to easily reach those far-flung places of the globe. We also built in the flexibility to start at 6 am and finish at 4 pm when we are working on campaigns in Western Australia and New Zealand. We really do have the world covered.
”Do your clients mind you not being around on a Friday?”
In short, no! We make outbound calls only so prospects don’t mind that we don’t call them on a Friday because they aren’t expecting a call in the first place. Plus, we find that Fridays aren’t a great day for successful cold calling. Our prospects are winding down for the weekend (or already on the golf course) so it’s difficult to make meaningful contact. Our figures reflect that this strategy works and our clients know they are getting the same quality and quantity of work as if we were working Monday to Friday.
”What do your staff think?”
Attracting suitable Gungho team members becomes slightly less difficult, as everyone seems loves to work a 4 day week! But more importantly, we are able to retain staff because of the work-life balance that a 4 day week offers. Whilst we now work longer days, we’ve actually noticed a marked improvement in energy levels. We are well-rested over the three day weekend, we’re spending less time commuting and we are happier because we get more time to pursue our hobbies and interests.
”It can’t all be perfect?”
It’s not far off! The only real trade off is that we have a lot to pack into 4 days. New starters have to learn quickly and we all have to work smart in order to achieve our targets over 4 days instead of 5. But, it works. The proof is in our numbers and our continued success.