You’ve heard about the 4-day workweek — but what about the 9-day fortnight?


Recently, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the four-day workweek, where employees work for four days instead of five but are still paid the same amount and expected to maintain productivity levels. The six-month trial of this working pattern in the U.K. was largely successful, with companies noting increased productivity and interest from prospective employees. However, concerns about profitability added pressure for workers due to a higher daily workload, and the need to be available to clients during all standard working hours still exists. 

As a CEO of a tech company, Sam Franklin feels that cutting a full day seemed like a big step and could potentially disrupt the company's productivity. Therefore, he is exploring the nine-day fortnight as a middle ground. This working pattern means that employees work for nine days out of 14 calendar days, and they get an extra day off every other week, often on a Friday. Some companies ask employees to work longer hours on the days they are working to compensate for the extra day off, while others do not prioritize this as long as output remains consistent. Many companies, including Otta, are currently trialing this working pattern, with the view that if it goes well, a move to the four-day week could eventually be an option.

The nine-day fortnight has numerous benefits for both employees and businesses, similar to those of the four-day week. These benefits include increased productivity, higher employee satisfaction, better work-life balance, and improved wellbeing. Some companies, such as Otta and Charlie HR, have found that it is even better than the four-day week, as it allows for alternating four and five-day weeks, which can improve balance and prevent intense work periods. Employees not only adapt to working different days but also change the way they approach their work, prioritizing only necessary meetings and implementing "deep work Wednesday." However, the nine-day fortnight does not suit every business or employee. Companies like Stand found it challenging to maintain a rota that suited everyone's needs, and some employees did not notice the benefits. Stand has since switched to a 4.5-day working pattern with an early finish on Fridays, which better suits their business needs. The key takeaway for companies is to find a flexible model that works for their business and clients, rather than be restricted by a one-size-fits-all approach.

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