We read so much about the benefits of a four day work week and while we’d love to implement it, as creative entrepreneurs we don’t understand how to fit in one day off let alone three. Sure, we’d love two days off frollicking around Hampstead Heath in the sun but if we don’t complete our self-set to do list each week, the days off are filled with guilt and stress.
The reality is this: a four day week won’t week for all companies and entrepreneurs. Furthermore, a four day week every week isn’t always the answer. Right now for instance, its summer, email follow ups are very rare because everyone is OOO (out of office) and so August may very well be the month to implement a four day week. However, as September rolls around and everyone is determined to get back to work, the to do list piles and that fifth day becomes all the more crucial.
A nine day fortnight (usually five days one week, four days the next) could be a great way to work. If not, if you’re someone (like me) that works well under pressure and intensity, a compressed week (four 10 hour days) can work very well and allow for full relaxation and creativity for the next few days.
Others may even set themself an hour-free schedule which, actually, makes loads of sense. Instead of measuring yourself through hours, measure yourself through goals. All emails been followed up, graphic design finished and sent? All good! This can also apply to managing a team and employees.
Bare in mind that flexible working also takes time to implement and feel out. Some departments and individuals will be more suited to flexible work schedules than others – customer-facing roles in particular might adapt slower than the back office. Communication here is key and if you want productivity levels to stay as high as before, you’ll have to help your team out. Let them know what meetings they need to be in, give notice on what the day/time is off that week. Another great idea is dedicating one day a week to ‘deep work’ where no meetings are scheduled to potentially interrupt the flow.
Finally, it is important to get feedback on the reduced day week – either from yourself if a sole worker and from your team. This will help to cement the best routine possible.