Employer

Sheffield’s main employer WANdisco sees the four-day working week as ‘hugely positive’

The boss of WANdisco plc, based in Castle House in the town centre, says the switch to the new system in February was a success, but warns others that it is important to ensure expectations are clearly communicated to the personal.

The advice comes as two Sheffield employers, AKA Case Management and Rivelin Robotics, were this week among 70 businesses across the UK launching a trial of a four-day working week.

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David Richards, chief executive of WANdisco, Sheffield’s biggest employer, gave his support for the four-day working week – describing it as hugely positive.

David Richards, Founder and Managing Director of WANdisco plc, said: “The move to a four-day working week in February has been hugely positive for our people and has enabled people to work in the way they find best. efficient.

“It encouraged our teams to question how they spend their time. For example, does each member have to attend a particular meeting or can one attend as a delegate? Can some stand-up meetings be replaced with a dedicated Slack channel? Can meetings last 30 minutes instead of an hour?

“Our empowered teams work the way they want to accomplish everything they need to do in four days. For example, we see some engineers choose to start earlier in the day or take a shorter lunch break.

He said the benefit for his employees is that they can spend Fridays with family and friends, pursue their hobbies, volunteer or go away for a long weekend. He added that some people had initially said they would prefer to stick to a five-day week, which the company would support, but in practice they had found no one to do so.

He added: “The move to a four-day week has helped us increase productivity because we are able to do as much in four days as we do in five. It’s also a great recruiting tool and allows WANdisco – with unlimited time off and a four-day work week – to compete with any employer, whoever they are and how much they pay.

“If other companies are considering changing, we would say it’s important to communicate very clear expectations about what a four-day week means in your organization. It will vary from industry to industry and will be set in For some operations, such as customer-facing roles, a four-day week may not be possible, so you may need to consider rotation systems.

“In our experience, the downsides are far outweighed by the upsides to the business as a whole. This decision has helped us work smarter, better and more efficiently. »

More than 3,000 workers from 70 companies will start a four-day week – part of a six-month trial run by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with think tank Autonomy, UK campaign 4 Day Week and researchers from Cambridge University and Oxford University and Boston College.

Organizers say it is the largest four-day week-long pilot to take place anywhere in the world.