Boss Of Company Letting Staff Work Four Days A Week Says They Will Be Back In Full Time At Christmas
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The CEO of a business taking part in a four-day work week trial has insisted staff will have to return to full-time before Christmas despite the reduction going well so far.
Louise Verity's company Bookishly – an independent business that sells literary gifts – is one of 30 organisations in the UK that is working with 4 Day Week Global to trial the four-day working week, during which staff get an extra paid day off each week.
The scheme is set to last six months, and in an interview with Felicity Hannah on Radio 4's Today show Verity said she is so far enjoying the experience of having one less work day to face after the weekend.
Exciting news here at Bookishly HQ - we are starting the 4 Day Week next month! We're partnering with @4dayweek_global as part of their UK trial. Here's my blog post about it, which links to the press release. https://t.co/EPFjPZD4v3— Louise Verity (@BookishlyUK) March 22, 2022
"We've gone with Wednesday [off] and I really like it. I think my team do too," Verity said.
The CEO explained that her company chose to have Wednesday off to ensure they still have time to process orders from the weekend, explaining: "It was important to us that we didn't add to the catch up - after the weekend is quite significant for us, because we are processing orders that have come in over days that we weren't in, so adding another day to that would make that Monday or Tuesday very difficult."
All of Verity's 10 staff members take the same day off, meaning nobody has to cover someone else's role, though closing the shop entirely has led to some complaints from customers or suppliers trying to reach them.
To tackle this issue, Verity said it's 'all about communication and making sure people understand what to expect'.
In spite of the positive response to the scheme so far, Verity said her staff would be returning to five days a week in November and December to meet the demand they have on the run up to Christmas.
The team has talked about this together, Verity said, explaining: "It is a really key time for us, the peak is huge at Christmas and basically all of our profit happens in December... For three weeks of November, three weeks of December we'll be working on Wednesdays too and we'll be focused solely on Christmas prep - everything that we do for preparing for Christmas will happen on those Wednesdays in November.
"Then by December hopefully we'll be so busy that we'll need those Wednesdays for production over and above the normal days which will mean that we won't need any Christmas temps and it will focus our Christmas prep on those days.
"Normally we would be doing a couple of hours here or there preparing, and by focusing everything on those Wednesdays I think it's really going to help us. Everybody was on board with that," the CEO said.
Staff won't be paid any extra for returning to work for the extra day, but Verity made clear Bookishly does 'want to be a four-day week company' and explained that even if staff had to take on the five-day week for six weeks of the year, it would still be 'an amazing improvement to [their] work-life balance'.