“Burn out.” “Quiet quitting.” “Career Cushioning.” If there’s one thing advertising is good at, it’s coming up with new ways to sell old ideas.
In 2023 the world of work moans and creaks as it navigates a choppy—post-global-pandemic—sea of change. For the past five months, our agency have worked nine days a fortnight instead of 10. And the results are in. The sky hasn’t fallen—indeed—staff morale and productivity is up.
“Humans aren’t robots,” says our CEO David O’Loughlin. “The world of work, the way we work, and the way we measure impact and effectiveness today, quite literally enables us to do more with less. It was time to give that dividend back to our people.”
Of course, what the boss thinks and what the staff feel are often in need of alignment. It was important for us to actively involve our staff in the trial and monthly staff surveys allow us to get ongoing and honest feedback. So far, it’s consistently telling a positive story. It’s starting to look like our Nine-Day-Fortnight trial will turn into a key employee benefit.
The feedback speaks for itself:
“I am surprised at the difference that one day has made to my overall enjoyment of work. The reset that comes around every two weeks always feels timely and allows me to re-engage with work with more enthusiasm.”
“I feel I have been able to better prioritise my workload, as having less time to complete task has forced me to be even more efficient. Not only that, but I have an extra day to completely decompress and have time to myself and my family.”
“Having a day to dedicate to my own creative pursuits fuels me and fills my cup so I can give more to my work.”
We believe the nine-day work fortnight means disruption to client workflow is minimal while employee attention is focused on delivering within the cadence of a fortnightly rhythm.
To make the system work for our staff and clients, the roster is staggered across each 10 days for all staff, meaning there isn’t one single day that we’re missing a large chunk of our 87 people. If the rostered day off falls on a holiday, it isn’t paid forward to another day off. The whole premise was there’d be no effect to pay or accruals of entitlements. Using this premise made the accounting practise easy as it was effectively status quo.
Of the trial, our Executive Director, Sam Davies said “As a business we are committed to exploring modern business practices and looking for better solutions, both for our clients and our team”.
With leaked documents from Amazon showing their staff attrition rate was approaching 100% last year and staff turnover estimated at costing the business “$8 Billion annually” we believe the lesson from Amazon is simple: Don’t treat humans like robots.
This ‘day off a fortnight’ we give our staff is all about encouraging them to be innovative, to value their time, and take responsibility for it. Realistically, everyone wastes time at work that could better spent with friends or family, or whatever the hell they want! It makes that whole, ‘work smarter, not harder’ cliché actually mean something to our people and our clients.
The trial is currently in progress and will run until January 2024.