Since we first kicked off a 4-day work week in Might 2020, folks have had a whole lot of questions on it. What day are we taking off? How lengthy will we proceed this apply? Is everybody actually working four-days every week or are some folks working extra?

Among the solutions to those questions have modified over the previous couple of months, and I’m positive some will proceed to vary and evolve as we study extra about working inside a four-day work week. A short while in the past, I made a decision to reply questions on our four-day work week coverage on Twitter, and I acquired a implausible response. I’ve included a high-level recap on this put up, however be at liberty to take a look at the whole thread in the event you’d wish to see each reply.

With out additional ado, listed below are among the questions I acquired in regards to the four-day work week organized into just a few prime classes, together with my replies and people of Caryn Hubbard, our VP of Finance, and Åsa Nystrom, our VP of Buyer Advocacy, who contributed to a number of solutions.

Why a 4-day work week?

Pranay asked: Why did it take a pandemic to implement it and why is a 4 day work week matter – cant it simply be in regards to the work itself as an alternative of timing it?

We have considered it for years, and I’ve a basic perception that 5-day workweeks aren’t essentially optimum. The pandemic meant added stress for all of us, particularly for the mother and father within the staff. I wished to get by means of it with the staff, mentally, in the perfect place.

I imagine that many companies which are squeezing each final drop they’ll get out of their firms when it comes to revenue, productiveness, and so forth. all of a sudden bumped into points within the pandemic. Progress targets to hit and no revenue margin, meant layoffs for a lot of firms.

And if you make layoffs, you erode belief considerably together with your staff. That may take years to construct again. I wished to construct belief with my staff by means of the pandemic. This was probably the greatest ways in which I assumed to do it.

How does it work?

Niel asked: Does everybody take the identical day without work? Or is it as much as the person? Or is it primarily based on groups? Or one thing extra nuanced?

At first, we experimented with groups deciding the day, however figuring out which day and having ample time for cross-team collaboration was a problem. Frankly it felt fairly chaotic. Now, we do Fridays apart from Buyer Advocacy which rotate the day.

Shubham asked: Which 4 days of the week do you’re employed? M – TH or Tu – Fr or one thing else? Do you discover that the staff tries to slot in 5 days of labor in 4?

For almost all of the staff, we do M – TH. At first I attempted Wednesdays as my day without work, and loved that however I desire Fridays now. 3-day weekends are very highly effective. I feel total, the staff tries to work smarter. Maybe attempting to suit 4.5 days into 4.

David asked: woah did not know you have been doing this – adore it what would your causes be for going again to five day?

The explanations would doubtless be not attaining our targets, which might be unhappy as a result of I basically do not imagine it is placing in hours that can get us there.

And, one key factor is that over time, we have realized that 4-days ought to really feel like a privilege, not entitled. So, in the event you get your duties and targets for the week completed, superior – take that day without work. When you did not fairly do sufficient for us to achieve our targets, spend a part of Friday working.

Scott asked: Doing a 4, 10’s kind of deal? Or not monitoring precise hours, slightly output and motion?

Not monitoring precise hours, and extra concentrate on monitoring output. The objective is to realize the identical if no more, in much less total hours labored (extra alongside the strains of 4 8’s).

Gaya asked: That’s superior! Hopefully extra firms will observe to normalise this. Q: Did the salaries keep the identical? I do know people who find themselves holding again from working much less due to lower in pay

No change to salaries at Buffer with our 4-day workweeks. It is much less hours for a similar pay. I do not imagine in identical hours in much less days, as a result of for me 4-day workweeks are actually a couple of extra basic perception that hours labored will not be correlated with outcomes.

Stone asked: Love that you simply did this! Do you construct in any deep work/no conferences time as effectively? Do you assume the pandemic was wanted for the transition/will you retain@it when places of work reopen? How assured are you that individuals aren’t working longer 4 days or really taking Friday off?

For a few years we have had discussions and concentrate on deep work, and plenty of groups have a day with no conferences. I do not assume the pandemic was wanted to do it, however it was a motivator. I am assured we’ll hold at it after, too. We’re already 100% distant so no precise places of work.

I am assured usually individuals are taking the Friday off. That mentioned, we additionally do not actively discourage working a little bit on Friday, if the staff member feels that’s wanted to realize our targets. We’ve massive ambitions for what we will do for purchasers *and* innovating tradition.

How do particular groups and teammates handle a 4-day work week?

Dwija asked: Do you’ve moms working as full time workers? If working hours of these 4 days improve – how do they handle? I do know it is determined by them however simply curious. Females are taking successful – BIG TIME in Covid. ( For instance: Yours actually)

From Caryn: We’ve many moms and dads at Buffer. Our shift to the pliability of a 4 day workweek has been one of the key issues conserving my household of 5 wholesome & protected this previous yr. The belief & flexibility to work the schedule that works for me & my household is the whole lot.

From Joel: So as to add to the nice insights Caryn shared, our choice to attempt a 4DWW was very a lot with mother and father in thoughts. Working hours have not elevated. We work laborious as a staff to attempt to realize our targets with out often working extra hours. Extra here.

Mark asked: Does buyer assist take part within the 4-day week? In that case, how do you stagger hours / meet buyer expectations?

Sure, they do, however we nonetheless need to serve clients to the identical excessive degree. Over time, we have tweaked our 4-day workweek to drive us to push ourselves within the 4-days and really feel like we have actually earned that day without work, not entitled to it.

Our buyer assist staff is the one staff that switches up the day without work as a way to make sure that we keep protection for purchasers.

Stefan asked: Are the customer-facing groups doing 4-day work weeks as effectively? In that case, are all of them off on Fridays? In that case, are clients’ emails/calls not answered until Monday?

No, we have now to take a barely extra distinctive method in our customer support staff. We’re absolutely dedicated to offering world-class service, and we all know the world works M-F (and even weekends). The precise day is totally different per staff member, so extra of a relay in that staff.

Have y’all had any points with a handoff from one staff member to a different on this relay system?

From Åsa: Leaping in to assist with this q. No points! We work in four-day blocks and use an assigned inbox circulate to maintain consistency in our buyer communications. Our staff covers many of the globe and are in fixed communication throughout the week to maintain on prime of points and so forth.

Jean asked: Do you’ve a robust buyer assist staff when it comes to variety of folks? Are you additionally making use of this method to tech staff?

Our buyer assist staff is 21 folks out of 85. All groups undertake the 4-day workweek, however we even have targets we attempt for and we see the fifth day as one thing earned not entitled.

Mercer followed up with: Does that imply that your assist staff doesn’t all the time get the identical time without work? How do you attempt to guard the time of your customer-facing groups (who so ceaselessly don’t get the identical blessings as the opposite groups round them)?

It is not essentially that totally different for our assist staff, however it’s usually extra measurable for a assist staff. So we purpose to be aware of that. However we even have engineering groups that can work the fifth day if they do not really feel on observe. Most groups work 4-days now.

From Åsa: Everybody on the CS staff works a 4-day block & has the identical days off each week to verify we have now the identical means to disengage and recharge! Being customer-facing doesn’t suggest we will not take part in firm initiatives like these, it simply means we have to plan a bit extra.

Sllyllyd asked: Do the extra senior staff members keep on with 4 days?

On the whole, sure. Typically the extra senior staff members are those who really feel essentially the most accountability and power for targets, and so we generally work the additional day to get make sure that we’re on observe. It is not the norm, although, and after we do it is often simply a few hours.

From Caryn: There is a excessive degree of flexibility and belief that we’ll meet our shared and particular person targets w/within the schedule that works finest for us. As a mother of three, my wants look totally different than fellow colleagues however I thrive with that mutual respect & belief. Generally I select to work 5 days.

How is it going?

Daniel asked: What’s higher than you anticipated? What’s worse than you anticipated?

Higher: The additional day builds in reflection time that we regularly do not make room for, the place many people resolve issues. So in some ways, we do extra significant work.

Tougher: Goal turns into much more essential. We have to really feel pushed to do nice work within the valuable 4 days we have now.

Goal on an org degree or particular person degree?

Each. Particularly with the previous yr we have had. The actual magic is when org function feels intertwined with a private sense of function, one thing worthy to go after that may actually make a distinction. If org function feels prefer it serves society, particular person function often follows.

Jesse asked: Are folks get as a lot completed? Do you’ve hourly workers?

We’ve no hourly workers, which is essential. This is not much less hours for much less pay, it is much less hours for a similar pay. When it comes to productiveness, that is laborious to measure on this wild previous yr we have had. However, issues look promising. Philosophically, I imagine we will get as a lot completed.

Superior. Are folks happier and extra excited to come back to work? Increase in ethical? Did you see it degree off?

Sure, to all of that! You nailed it. We have not felt it degree off but, there’s nonetheless a ton of gratitude for the 4-day workweeks 9+ months in.

André-Paul asked: What are the most important adjustments you have seen inside your staff? Any new routines/behaviours/processes?

Properly, there’s positively a brand new degree of gratitude. We’re right here, attempting out this wild new factor, and gaining this further day for household or ourselves. It is superior. And with that, a way of alongside gaining flexibility, giving flexibility too.

What I imply by gaining flexibility and giving flexibility is, particularly as a world staff, we should be open to conferences every so often earlier in a morning or late at evening, to make the whole lot occur. Particularly with a 4-day workweek.

So, a renewed sense of, we’re fortunate to have this further freedom however let’s be sensible about how we work as a way to make 4-day workweeks actually work for us as an organization and for purchasers, so we will hold having them.

Ali asked: Has the speed of burnout gone down?

It is laborious to measure, however I imagine completely, it has. Or slightly, 2020 was a yr that drove rather more burnout than most years and we minimized the quantity partially by means of implementing the 4-day workweek.

Michelle asked: I can all the time discover extra to do. Are folks self-disciplined sufficient to essentially take Friday off and are folks adequate at figuring out how a lot they’ll actually get completed in every week or do they set targets which are too lofty and often find yourself working Fridays?

Nice query. I feel it is someplace within the center. I genuinely assume most individuals now take Fridays off. However, we nonetheless have massive ambitions as an organization and so every so often we have to work a Friday. The actual magic is when the Friday off helps you really get extra completed.

Luthfur asked: How are you measuring productiveness? Put one other approach, how do you plan to make the choice on whether or not that is going effectively or not.

In the end, we are going to make our choice primarily based on whether or not we obtain our targets as an organization. I basically imagine although, that the 5-day workweek is a relic of the economic period and never essentially the simplest approach to work. So I imagine we will obtain our targets in 4DWWs.

One of many advantages we have now, is that buyers don’t management our firm. We are able to take long run stances and selections, that we imagine will result in nice leads to time.

When you or your staff try a 4-day work week send me a tweet to share the way it’s going for you, I’d love to listen to about it!