March 1, 2021 was the primary day my legislation agency started the 4 day work week mission. In my previous blog, I defined the explanation why we selected this mission and the quite a few benefits it offers for all concerned.
However earlier than implementing the mission, we needed to assume lengthy and onerous about our insurance policies to ensure this works. This took lots of staff and particular person effort and analysis, however the measures and insurance policies grew to become very nicely thought out. I want to share them for anybody considering of doing a 4 day week mission for their very own legislation corporations or different firms.
With out additional ado, right here we go:
First and Foremost, a Momentary 3 Month Pilot Challenge
I might by no means leap into one thing so drastic and dangerous completely. In spite of everything we’re one of many first legislation corporations for our measurement in Canada to be implementing this so I need this to be a hit. A very powerful factor I made positive was managing expectations of legal professionals and employees:
- There’s a actual probability we might revert to five working days per week after 3 months;
- We’re capturing for taking on 80% of Wednesdays off, not all of them. In different phrases, if we now have to work on Wednesdays as a result of one thing pressing comes up, then so be it.
The bottom line is to have the freedom to take the day without work, not that it’s necessary to take action.
Choosing Which Day of the Week to Take off
This was very tough to determine and we struggled with it. We had been torn between Wednesdays and Fridays:
- Naturally most individuals want to have Fridays off as a result of it means lengthy weekends each weekend. However the issue I sensed was that an excessive amount of work and unanswered emails would pile as much as the purpose that the employees and legal professionals can be too stressed come Monday. That will defeat the aim which is permitting staff a day without work to unplug and chill out.
- Wednesdays present a pleasant mid-week break, and other people wouldn’t be as stressed as a result of they might be again to work on Thursdays.
We determined to check out Wednesdays for one month after which possibly strive Fridays the subsequent month to see what works higher.
Vital: we’re retaining our telephones and places of work open 5 days per week as defined beneath.
Do We Do Make Up Days if Now we have to Work on a Day Off?
I felt that if somebody has to come back to work on a Wednesday due to an pressing matter, then they shouldn’t be asking for make up break day. In spite of everything, it is a favour or a privilege, not an obligation. Making up for having to work on a Wednesday would create an excessive amount of chaos and disorganization, and we determined towards it.
What About Pressing Issues on Wednesdays?
We had massive debates on whether or not we must always arrange auto replies telling everybody we aren’t round or not. On the finish I made a decision towards it. As an alternative I requested the assistants to test the lawyer’s emails at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays for a couple of minutes and produce up any pressing points to the lawyer’s consideration. This fashion shoppers wouldn’t freak out considering we aren’t round in any respect on Wednesdays. Since checking the lawyer’s emails wouldn’t take quite a lot of minutes, the assistants don’t thoughts doing this.
What are the Work Hours for a 4 Day Work Week?
I requested our staff so as to add 1 hour to their shifts – so from 8 a.m. to five p.m., 8:30 a.m. to five:30 p.m. or 9 to six p.m. Which means they might add 4 hours per week to their 4 days and the agency would take in the remaining 4 hours. This fashion, our backside line wouldn’t be hit as onerous and usually all staff had been extraordinarily receptive and happy with this association.
Having stated the above, I listened to a Podcast by Quinn Ross from the Ross Firm, an Ontario agency near our measurement which has applied the 4 day week work. He acknowledged that they began with 10 hours, 4 days and that didn’t work. They’re now doing the traditional 8 hours a day, 4 days per week. He experiences that profitability and progress haven’t been negatively impacted in any respect – in reality, they’re on an upward swing.
So I’ll see how issues go for our agency.
The Cool Factor About Our New Workplace Hours
Given that everybody can be working 9 hours, 4 days per week, we now have truly been capable of broaden our workplace hours from 8 a.m. to six p.m. as an alternative of the traditional 9 to five. It’s because some employees will work from 8 to five and a few from 10 to six, so we are able to truly broaden our service hours as an alternative of lowering them. As defined beneath, on the date our receptionist is off, one other employees members works and as an alternative takes a unique day without work.
This implies all of us aside from one individual take Wednesdays off.
What About Serving Our Shoppers on the Day Off?
It is rather necessary to level out one thing crucial right here: we aren’t closing down our agency on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, our receptionist works and solutions the telephones (and as an alternative takes one other day without work). Pressing issues can be delivered to the eye of the lawyer and assistant, and enterprise so far as shoppers go will run as standard. All we’re doing is placing in our retainer agreements that we’ll reply to pressing issues solely on Wednesdays, not that we’re closed on Wednesdays.
Is Everybody at YLaw Pleased A couple of 4 Day Work Week?
Surprisingly, though most of us are thrilled, some aren’t. A few of our legal professionals don’t know the right way to implement this given the character of household legislation wherein our calendars usually are not all the time below our management. We might need to cope with pressing issues, a number of issues or work 7 days per week to meet up with trial preparation. So understandably a number of the legal professionals are anxious about truly having the ability to take Wednesdays off.
My advise has been: you could have the choice of taking of a day in week, you would not have to. This I discover relieves the stress of getting to alter life round to implement 4 work days per week. This solely says we’re versatile do you have to resolve to take action.
As for workers, they’re all thrilled. Attorneys can have versatile schedules and take break day. Employees need to be at work on inflexible shifts. Having the ability to attend their appointments, be with their household and unplug permits them freedom and autonomy and in some ways helps them with psychological and bodily wellness.
I’ll you’ll want to report again after one month to see the place we’re, and whether or not we have to change something.
Till then my associates, keep bodily and mentally nicely.
Written by Leena Yousefi.
To learn in regards to the purpose why we applied our 4 day weeks, click here.