Taking the Business Leap to the Four-Day Workweek
Why the four-day work week?
We all know work-life balance is good for workers, but is it good for business too? Is it too good to be true? BOLD LIP has always been in the business of challenging outdated norms. One that we’re all too happy to challenge, is how (and when) we work as creatives. We’ve implemented a 4-day work week, turning our wildest worklife dream into our BOLD reality. Here’s how it’s going, and some talking points to convince your boss (or yourself) that it’s time to embrace the four-day workweek.
“It’s easier to get into the zone and I’m working faster. I’m more organised with time and file management (yes, even the photoshop layers - knowing that when the revisions come in I won’t have to guess which one to be edited.) And not to mention, an extra day to lie around and be lazy”
- Toto Ho, Art Director
It means more agile process
Let us be clear: we’re not stacking 40 hours over four days. We’ve adopted the 100:80:100 model, where we maintain 100% of the compensation, work 80% of the time, and deliver 100% of the output. Research shows that businesses productivity can be maintained or even increased with the 4-day workweek, and with the exception of the occasional late night, we’re finding this rings true.
So, where did we win back our time?
- Time-blocking: Toggling from creative, to admin, to client-facing modes can be a big time suck. We set our meetings in the morning and leave the afternoons for solid work sessions.
- Week-mapping: Especially in industries like ours, it helps to find a rhythm where hand-offs and approvals are seamless. Investing the time to prioritize on a Monday is imperative!
- Clearer client expectations:Now that our end of week lands on a Thursday, our clients have a guaranteed pre-weekend day to digest and provide feedback, leading to us starting the week with feedback more reliably.
“I thought I was productive before, but now I'm noticing small ways to save time. Map out your week really well on a Monday. Set expectations with your clients. Everyone's happy to work this way as long as we're delivering what we need to deliver.”
- Joanne Gallop, Content Director + Partner
It’s more accessible to more people (especially women)
If we’ve learned anything as a society these last few years (big, BIG “if”), it’s that our work life is more flexible than we thought. We’ve mainstreamed tools that make asynchronous work possible, and only collaborate in real time as needed. For extroverts that relied on the water cooler hangouts to power through the day, this was an adjustment. But for parents, commuters, people with chronic pain, mental health concerns and physical disability, the world opened up. The four-day workweek not only attracts and facilitates participation from diverse candidates, it helps retain them and prevent burnout.
“Some kind of mix of 'getting shit done' and 'me time'. Grocery shopping + lunch with a friend. Networking + getting my nails done. Tidying the house + reading a book. The perfection of it all is that I get to choose!”
- Taralyn Carver, Design Director + Partner
For women in particular, flexibility in the work day means more autonomy over how they complete the 50% more domestic labour they take on than their male counterparts. Notably, when asked about their “dream Friday off”, almost our entire team cited the opportunity to catch up on chores. Anyone who’s worked from home amongst their unfinished household duties understands: domestic labour and the mental load that comes with it competes with our professional and personal well-being when we don’t have the resources we need.
“Toronto is a hard city to navigate after 5 pm. Getting an off-peak day to experience the city, brunch at new hot spots, have a quiet day to the beach, or even go to IKEA without the crowds feels very luxurious to me.”
– Maggie Buxton-Simpson, Senior Copywriter
It’s made us healthier, happier and more creative.
We’re all so much more than who we are at work. The metrics on productivity and retention are easier to measure and harder to ignore. But what is the collective potential lost when your creative team doesn’t have time to take care of their bodies, minds and spirits?
An overwhelming theme that came back from our team interviews was the sensation of truly being refreshed and ready on Monday mornings. People are feeling better, which is good news for businesses that report lower absenteeism after introducing a four-day work week. But it also means that the people you’re relying on to think of the bold, beautiful work that will set your brand apart are taking time to reset, get inspired and hone their craft.
“Working this way gives me time to pursue my other passions in life with the full support of my colleagues - this is very unexpected in today’s standard workforce”
- Kate Voltan, Client Services Director