Digital estate planning solutions business Arken Legal has introduced a four-day working week for full-time employees following a trial that lasted nine months.
Since October 2020, all full-time employees, with the exception of two members of staff who take a different day to ensure cover, have had Fridays off. The trial period was run covertly as no clients realised staff were working a four-day week, proving outputs were maintained despite the reduced hours.
According to Arken Legal, the result has been an increase in productivity and efficiency, improvements in job satisfaction and a better work-life balance for staff. It has also changed the way employees rate the business, as eight in 10 said it has improved their view of the organisation and 85% said it has increased the time they are likely to stay in their roles.
Staff can use their day off however they wish, with some catching up on work, others spending more time with family or running errands so they can free up their weekends, and many using the day for upskilling and fitness, as the organisation runs staff yoga on Friday mornings. The four-day week also gives staff the opportunity to take long weekends away without having to book holiday.
Pippa Shepherd, head of customer engagement at Arken Legal, explained that the four-day week was always something the organisation had been advocates of, and lockdown offered the perfect opportunity to put it into action.
“If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it is that we need to create a more sustainable way of working, one that improves business productivity, but has worker wellbeing at its core. By introducing a four-day week we have been able to improve work-life balance, strengthen families, and reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing productivity, and we would urge all businesses to consider it,” she said.