Q&A: The four-day week is the smarter way to work
Fred Krieger, CEO and founder of work management software platform Scoro, explains why his firm is embracing the four-day work week, and offers business leaders advice on measuring its benefits to productivity and profitability
Why have you decided to move Scoro to a four-day work week?
As a concept, the five-day work week is rather outdated. It’s been the norm for a century and hasn’t been questioned since. Massive productivity gains from new technology have been largely diluted by an always-on mentality, multitasking, and inefficiencies in communication. We’re on a mission to fix that. We believe this is the better and smarter way to work.
We have a wealth of data from our 20,000 users. From this we discovered that Fridays saw all system usage of the Scoro platform drop by 23%. We also know that our own email activity decreased 15% and Slack usage was down by 24% on Fridays.
How do you believe a four-day work week will change business for the better?
A focus on organisational and individual efficiency improvements has allowed companies to achieve more in less time, with teams becoming more productive and happier inside and outside of work. A four-day work week takes this up a few levels, ensuring every process and task is carried out most efficiently. All of our 140 colleagues - working worldwide across the UK, the US, and the Baltics - will over the next 12 months allow us to measure the results of this four-day work week mission and share them publicly alongside our learnings.
It may not be the ideal format for everyone, but we believe everyone can benefit from our framework and become more efficient in their work to increase margins and allow for shorter workdays or weeks.
In what ways do you see Scoro achieving measurable change?
We’ve set ourselves a series of benchmarks and goals. For example, we aim to reduce the time spent in meetings by 25% and shrink the number of interruptions from communication channels by 18% - plus save one hour per week per person through improved planning and time management, and another 30 minutes by increasing automation. The team will experience no change in salary.
What advice would you give other leaders who are fearful of taking this step?
Tracking data and regular optimisation via continuous learning will be key to success. It’s why software tools such as Scoro are important in organisational change and business transformation. Just switching to fewer hours won’t get the job done. Quick wins designed simply to improve employee wellbeing will only be successful in the short term.
To reap the full benefits of a four-day work week, and to minimise all associated risks, leaders must start from a strong position, with a foundation of clear and critical data to understand what should be changed and when; using insight to monitor progress, stay agile and make changes for ongoing success.
What are the main barriers for leaders in adopting this process?
Organisations rarely commit to overhauling their whole operations for ideas such as this. They just fiddle around the edges. But you must be brave and open, while accepting it won’t all be plain sailing.
This is about ‘reinventing Fridays’; it’s not just an extra day off. This additional free time can change our lives and the lives of others.
Are you not afraid of the risks of a four-day week?
We’re prepared for the fact that we might encounter issues, but I’m confident that we’re adaptive enough to fix them. Gathering feedback and making improvements is all part of the process, and that’s what’s so exciting - we have the opportunity to learn and then share our learnings; good and bad. We want it to inspire and encourage other companies to be comfortable and confident enough to start this journey.
To find out more, visit scoro.com
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