As you may know, our team at Wonderstuff have been enjoying a 4-day working week for the past 6 weeks. Summer should come as such a welcoming relief in our lives, and we believe that relaxation and enjoyment are essential, especially this year. We recognised that once you take work, chores and other life admin into account, we don’t actually get much free time to ourselves to enjoy the summer months how we could. This is why we decided to trial 6 weeks of summer.
We were inspired by the fantastic teams at Fiasco Design and Basecamp, who have already implemented a 4-day working week and decided to explore this initiative ourselves. We believed it would be the perfect opportunity for our team to unwind and enjoy the outdoors, whether it’s spent with family and friends, trying new activities, or enjoying the things we already love; whatever is important to us.
We managed this time flexibly, letting our employees book their day off a week in advance, and weren’t strict on which day they should take. Some of our team said that they would be guided by the weather as to which day they would take off, others worked around their loved ones working week, and others often bolted the extra day onto a weekend, taking off a Monday or Friday to make their weekend longer. The only stipulations we had were that clients come first, therefore to work around client meetings, calls or visits, and the other being that if there’s an emergency or a deadline looming, we need to be able to jump on it.
Having trialed this 4 day working week, we have all thoroughly enjoyed it and predict that it will benefit our efficiency, mental health and morale in the long term. Some of our team have continued enjoying the things they love, such as surfing, recording music, paddle boarding, running, going to gigs and spending time with friends and family, others have tried new things such as going to outdoor cinemas, triathlons and open water swimming. It’s fair to say that we have all made the most of the extra day to ourselves per week, and are so happy that our team have used this time to get fit, healthy and enjoy the outdoors.
Paul, MD at Wonderstuff says “I love exploring new ideas – and six weeks of summer has shown us that we can do anything we put our minds too.”
Although we don’t feel that we have been able to put this to the test fully, because our workload throughout the summer has not been overly busy due to our team and client holidays, there has been nothing negative to make us stop our 4-day working week at 6 weeks. Our team have also said that they feel less burnt out, more resilient and have more energy to tackle their workload in our design studio. Therefore we are extending our trial for a further 6 weeks. We will be reviewing again after that, and will keep you all updated.