The scheme is offered on a voluntary basis, and employees are given the choice of opting in or out every quarter. According to Freedom, 75% of its employees have opted in for the scheme so far.
In January, Freedom’s employee engagement survey found that its staff desire more flexible working models that allow a better work-life balance. In response, the company formed a group of seven employees to examine the feasibility of a four-day week. Together, they made recommendations which were used to develop the scheme, ensuring a smooth transition into the four-day working week beginning July 01.
“Implementing the four-day week is part of an overall strategy to increase levels of engagement and performance across the group and is aligned with our core values,” said Chantel Emilius, executive director of culture and engagement of Freedom Services Group. “We believe that this initiative will prove beneficial to our employees’ happiness and wellbeing which in turn will have an equally positive impact on business productivity, customer experience, and recruitment and retention strategies.”
The four-day week pilot has been promoted at interview stage as an incentive for Freedom’s recent recruitment campaigns, which has seen 24 employees join since April. To ensure the longevity of the scheme, the four-day week will see incremental changes through the company’s operations to assist the adoption across the whole organisation, as well as measure the impacts of the reduced hours. Freedom will formulate individual development plans with measurable objectives for employees, complemented by the use of workplace management and engagement tools such as SageHR and Reward Gateway.
“Implementation of a four-day working week doesn’t happen overnight,” Emilius said. “In order to do this initiative correctly, we needed to ensure that not only do we have the buy-in of our staff at every level, but we also have the operational processes and tools that support the transition.”