We don't work Fridays. You shouldn't too!

#Trends

5 min. read

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Dina Zastavnikovic

How & why we implemented Friday off in our work strategy, thus becoming the first advertising agency to do so in Croatia, and what we have learned.

Yes, it’s true, we have Fridays OFF. And yes, we know what you are probably thinking so let’s first get that out of the way. No, we don’t work longer to compensate. Yes, we really are at home and not at our laptops. Yes, we have the same salaries every month as before the change. OK?

THE WHYS

The Friday OFF idea is not so new; there are studies and articles showing increased productivity after the implementation of 1 extra free day in many countries all over the world. But we feel that every country, every market and every individual business area is different. There is no quick recipe, what works in China or America doesn’t have to work in Croatia. Sure, we will admit – we were scared. We were weary of our people’s mentality and how to avoid exploitation and misuse of this giant perk. Indeed, everything great is scary in the beginning so – let’s go. Let the testing begin.

THE HOWS

Step 1Dolly had it wrong

First, during the summer, we implemented 8 AM to 4 PM. More sun, more free time in the summer when days are longer. We wanted to see if people valued this, if they find extra time in the day beneficial and are they willing to at least get up a little earlier to enjoy it. They did. This change worked without a glitch and was welcomed by everybody so we decided to prolong it – forever. 

Step 2 – Think before you speak, test before you leap

OK, next step, let’s do it, let’s have a Friday OFF, once per month. We survived, no one got killed, no client fainted, they haven’t even noticed we were MIA. Let’s do it – two Fridays per month. Wait, are we having LESS work or do everyone actually plough through the week finishing everything on time?

Step 3 – Review, correct, repeat, implement

It’s time for the talk. What do people think, do they like this? Are we productive enough? What about the costs? We all sat down, crunched the numbers and everything seemed to be in order. Now it was time to actually do the legal part and let everyone know. Sure, there were some concerns  from the client’s side, but if you’ve done your homework around acceptable deadlines – nobody has anything to worry about.

THE RESULTS – IT’S NOT BORING, WE PROMISE

After a year of non-working Fridays, we wanted to reflect again. Thus we analysed 3 parameters – productivity, cost and satisfaction. We also made sure to evaluate all 3 of them from both the employer’s and employee’s point of view, dependant on the parameter of what the numbers or the people were saying – sometimes both.

1. PRODUCTIVITY

Increased. No doubt about it. What took us 5 days to finish before, everyone completed in 4 days. No deadlines broken. Since we have already implemented a time management software, we could measure the amount of time people needed to finish a task before and after the change. The results were really cool to look at, especially with repeating tasks. For example, before the change, people needed around 7-8 hours per content calendar, now they needed 5. On Thursday afternoons it was often even down to 4. And no, we know you, you’re thinking that people wrote the first thing that came to their minds just to go home sooner. However, we can say that content has even improved. Rested brains have better ideas. At least in our case. The same thing was seen from the employees’ point of view – the majority stated they need less time because they are concentrating better due to feeling rested and more satisfied. 

2. COST

Lower. On Fridays we do not pay for electricity, heating, water… And all expenses, such as coffee or even toilet paper, decreased because people were not using the office. So, we were actually earning more due to lowering our costs. It’s not an enormous amount, we won’t lie – but the cost went down without a doubt. Hey, yeah, we spent the difference on the first team building we had, but that’s a whole other choice. Sorry, not sorry. 

Employees had lower costs as well – not having to travel to work, spend gas, order food. We did however see more Asos orders come in, so maybe our next article will be an apology to getting our employees hooked on online-shopping. You never know.

3. SATISFACTION

Well, through the roof. Accounts especially. People above 35 are walking around glowing like lightbulbs. Hm, maybe that is what cut our electricity bill? And accounts over 35 are celebrating the fact they have a life every night. 

No, seriously, we are more stable because of this. We have connected more over ‘defending’ our Friday OFF. Everything that might threaten it is all of our business and we come together in solving the issue. If there is a tight deadline everyone now will stay longer without feeling bad in any way, if something urgent comes up people will deal with it from home without a  problem and so on.

YES OR NO – MAKE YOUR CHOICE

You can see for yourself in the previous chapter, turning Fridays OFF (yes, we are copywriters, we play with words for sport) was a great decision for us. But you will need to decide for yourselves if it is doable in your environment. We feel that where there is a will – there is a way. We found ours, that’s all there is to it.

If you have any question, we are at your disposal. 

Monday through Thursday, from 8 AM to 4 PM.