How recruitment firms are embracing flexible working policies

Are recruitment firms practising what they preach when it comes to flexible working?

After all, these organizations have had a front-row seat to spot the evolving workforce trends, which in the last three years have seen demand for flexibility and, for some candidates, part- or fully-remote roles.

To find out how the most pioneering recruitment firms have changed their working methods, WorkLife spoke to various organizations within the industry.

Here we consider the challenges and opportunities of embracing a four-day week – aka “Flex Friday” – digital detox holidays, and supporting employees to achieve the optimal work-life balance.

This article is the third of a three-part series in which DigiDay’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, rounds up a range of flexible models used by employers in different sectors.

The full version of this piece was first published on WorkLife, in December 2022. To read the complete piece, please click HERE. And to read the other two articles in the series please use the links below.
What media and marketing execs have learned from flexible-working experiments
Remote-first, WFA, nine-day weeks: Flexible working experiments of 2022

Can the four-day working week ever really scale?

Perhaps less really is more. The recent headlines generated by the results of the largest four-day working week trial were undoubtedly eye-catching. In early December, the programs for 33 organizations, mainly in the U.S. and Ireland and spanning numerous industries, officially concluded after six months. A vast majority – over 90% – plan to continue the four-day week.

The report from 4 Day Week Global, a nonprofit organization facilitating the trial – and another one in the U.K. that includes 70 businesses and finishes next February – noted: “For the companies, relevant metrics showed high levels of success.” On average, revenue had risen 38% compared to 12 months earlier, and hiring also rose. Meanwhile, absenteeism was lower, and resignations were down.

And yet, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the four-day week may have a scale issue. Almost all of the companies in the trial were small- to medium-sized organizations – only two of the 33 participants employed more than 101 workers. Whether or not the four-day week can work for larger organizations is as yet, untested.

So, what’s needed to take it to the next level?

The full version of this article was first published on DigiDay’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, in December 2022 – to read the complete piece, please click HERE.

How switching to a 4-day week solved challenger bank Atom’s talent shortage

Six months ago, challenger bank Atom was in a tight spot: its growth tear was being stunted by a major talent shortage.

The company had 70 unfilled job vacancies and, in a tight labor market, was struggling to find the best talent to fill them.

To boost its visibility as a great place to work and attract top talent, Atom’s U.K.-based leadership decided to take the plunge and trial a four-day week, to see if it boosted the volume of candidates applying.

It worked. The company had a 500% increase in applications for open roles, according to Atom’s chief people officer Anne-Marie Lister.

This article was first published on DigiDay’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, in June 2022 – to read the complete piece please click HERE.

‘It’s central to the future of work’: World’s first coordinated 4-day week pilot begins

Determining what successful hybrid working looks like is a priority for most business leaders in 2022. But as employers grapple with shaping a system that works for both them and their employees, could it be that a better solution is operating a four-day working week?

A growing number of people seem to think so. In the U.S., 30 businesses will kick off four-day week trials across industries including manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare, recruitment, and technology, on February 1. The six-month trials will be overseen by not-for-profit 4 Day Week Global — a community created to support employers that want to shift to the shorter workweek and ensure productivity remains high.

This article was first published on DigiDay’s WorkLife platform in January 2022 – to continue reading please click here.

‘It’s just another 9 to 5’: Employers assess productivity levels after introducing 4-day work week

As organizations tiptoe into the post-pandemic world of hybrid working, the idea of a four-day week is gaining popularity. Little surprise, if working one fewer day and not being docked any pay is in the offing, which is precisely what some businesses are already offering. 

For smaller businesses that can’t afford to pay staff 20% extra, a four-day week is still an appealing proposition. Many leaders acknowledge that working 9 to 5 is, in 2021, only heard of in Dolly Parton’s classic tune. More flexibility, trust, and autonomy are the vital factors that will count to attracting and retaining top talent. 

Indeed, in the U.K., 38% of small- and medium-sized enterprises leaders recently indicated they plan to forge ahead with four-day-week plans. It’s a concept that works in theory, but does it work in practice?

This article was first published on DigiDay’s WorkLife platform in October 2021 – to continue reading please click here.