AUTHOR Lou Crane
DATE Jul 2022
In 2022 I feel lucky and privileged to be in the tech industry and immensely proud of the business we’re building.
I am also in awe of the talent in our team and when asked who we look after first, it’s always without doubt the people who work with us.
I might be stating the obvious, but why wouldn’t you look after your staff first? They are integral to everything we do. They are not commodities or code monkeys, they are intelligent, creative and very decent people who create amazing solutions.
Yes, a salary remunerates work and that transaction is the backbone of capitalism but when I witness the extraordinary lengths they will go to on behalf of our clients, I’m glad we’ve put measures in place to say thank you.
Fortunately, our industry lends itself well to a 4-day week – remote work, hybrid work, non-site specific work and we have purposely invested in senior developers as less experienced engineers need peer to peer support in a close environment.
So as a company, we decided that this was the approach we wanted to take but we needed to consider how it would work. If you get to work with software developers, you quickly understand that they are solution-seekers and they will not let a problem go unsolved. Their Eureka moments come from hours of persistence and are well deserved. But knowing how the hours add up, they are often in danger of burning 60+ hour weeks if they’re not told to rest because they care deeply, set themselves high standards and they love what they do. Our company no longer offers a 5-day week to any member of staff, regardless of their role. Let me be clear, this is not 5 days squeezed into 4. Nor is it a reduced salary. We’ve made internal decisions to pace projects, tell clients that Friday is a non-contact day, reduce meetings (particularly lengthy ones) and promote independent working. I’m also hopeful that in the future this will help to balance gender roles, allowing both men and women flexible time to perform caring duties.
The 4-day week forms part of our holistic well being package. Collectively, we are all using Friday as the non work-day of the week, developers have 2 days a month on site at our barn office when we share news, go through projects, plan operations and learning. This time together is valuable and not one we want to give up in favour of 100% remote working. People are the key for us and nothing replaces passing round the biscuits and sharing 3 dimensional space.
In addition, we have a really comprehensive medical insurance available to all staff and their family. It includes mental healthcare and therapies as well as optical and dental. And every year we give £200 to each team member to spend on a well being activity. Holidays are 33 days (inclusive of bank holidays) for a 4-day week and we’re adding more benefits as we go along and always with an eye on making life better.
So far the positives of this 4-day week have surpassed any concerns we may have initially had. We’re agile enough to move around objections and will keep improving and tweaking what we offer. Putting people first has focused our goals and shapes how we want to operate in this new post-pandemic reset.