A company boss has given all of his staff a four day week - without docking any pay. Martyn King, managing director of marketing firm Fuel, started the four-day week trial this month.
Fuel provides market insights into major businesses such as Google and Meta and plans to operate under their new model until March 2023 as part of a six-month trial which has already seen their revenues grow by 107%. Thanks to a new scheduling system they still operate five days a week.
The only trade-off is that staff now have to start work at 8am, working until the usual 5pm - an extension of their working hours but a net loss of 3 hours per week for staff. With the new hours, staff have essentially received the equivalent of a 9% pay rise in their hourly rate, introduced alongside payrises to combat the cost of living crisis.
The new programme follows three months of consultations between the business and it's clients, along with it's workforce and reviews of similar ongoing projects in the UK. Fuel has been working with Portcullis Legals which became the first business in the country to adopt a four day week - and gave them a pay rise.
The legal firm became the first in the country to receive a Gold Standard four-day week employer accreditation from the 4 Day Week Campaign after the switch in May 2019. Mr King called the project an 'extension' of the hybrid working environment that Fuel has adopted during the pandemic.
He said: "It's certainly boosted morale in the office, we're now in our third week of it. There definitely was a period of adjustment though, we prepared well for it - but people are starting to adjust from working a five day working pattern to four.
"It's going well, but of course it is a big adaptation from the five day model people have worked their entire careers. We've increased our opening hours across the week for our clients, because we provide a lot of ecommerce work it's quite important to have people on hand all the time.
"But also, we effectively have two teams. On a Wednesday 50% of people have their rest day, and on a friday the other 50% have theirs. We have a close buddying system to match staff together, so that the skillset we have on at any one time is always complimentary so we always have the same range of skills available to our clients.
"It's a trial and it's aimed at making sure people are more relaxed and more productive, so we'll need to run the trial through fully. We're a busy agency though, so we'll need to adapt and then see if we'll maintain it in six months."