We tried a 4-day workweek for 6 months. Here's what we had to do to make it work and why we landed on something different.

 Amplitude, a creative agency providing services such as animation and film photography, graphic design, copywriting, and branding to clients including Unilever, The Body Shop, and Avon, was founded in 2008 by an individual who had previously been made redundant from their job in events planning. With 12 staff members comprising project managers, creative directors, and graphic designers, the company previously operated on a rigid 40-hour 5-day workweek with slight flexibility around starting times. However, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a transition to hybrid working, leading to the decision to trial a 4-day workweek in June 2021. Despite initial nervousness around client reactions, the trial was well-received, with the organization behind the trial offering guidance on how to adapt project-management structures and workflows to the new system. Changes included improved communication with clients earlier on in the creative process to ensure efficiency and mandatory 32-hour workweeks with the option to take Wednesday or Friday off based on personal preference. Overall, the trial proved successful for Amplitude and its employees.

An individual who is a DJ and music producers used their day off to focus on their side business. However, they occasionally had to work extra hours to respond to business-development opportunities. During a trial for a four-day workweek, their project-management workflow was changed to ensure there was always someone available to respond to client needs. While revenue did not decrease, it also did not increase, and some individuals found it stressful to work across multiple projects. Following the trial, the individual advocated for a more flexible work schedule, as everyone works best in different ways. As a result, a 35-hour flexible work week over four or five days was implemented, with working hours being fully flexible as long as managers are informed in advance.

The traditional 9-to-5 work schedule is outdated and ineffective for everyone. Nowadays, people thrive working in different ways and having a flexible work environment can be a total game changer. As a creative agency, we have found that being flexible has vastly improved our productivity and overall success. However, it's important to note that this might not be as easy for larger organizations that may require more structured hours. Nonetheless, the key is to always respect the autonomy of our team. It's not our place to micromanage how they structure their workday. Though we do have important deadlines and meetings to consider, beyond that, our team should have the freedom to balance their work with their personal life on their own terms.

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