We are full of big ideas here at Punch, and last year our directors had their craziest one yet – moving to a four day week. Whether you think our decision is insane or flipping fantastic, in the words of Louie Spence, “we’ve done it now, it’s too bleeding late”.
Last year, we shared Why We’ve Made the Move to a Four Day Work Week, but since then our Leeds agency has experienced what it’s really like to work four days a week. On the most part, it’s amazing, but it’s not without its challenges.
You’ve heard from our directors, but we thought it was about time you heard from the graphic designers, web developers and marketing professionals here at Punch. In this blog, we share our honest opinion on working four days a week – the good, the bad and the ugly.
There are always bumps in the road
Yes, we all got a bit giddy at the thought of a 3-day weekend, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t anxious. Of course, we loved the idea but the thought of squeezing five days work into four made us sweat a little.
Like any change, there was an adjustment period. The first few weeks were hectic for the team and many of us found the transition exhausting – five-day working weeks were all we knew, until now!
Our Junior Marketing Exec, Bryony, said, “I let the fear of not being productive or creative enough get to me” – something which we all felt to an extent in the early days. We had to learn that every day is different, some days might be less productive than others, and that’s ok, no matter how many days you work a week.
No transition is smooth, and we definitely experienced some teething issues. The first few weeks and months were a lot different, but we all started to enjoy the perks that a four-day week brought with it.
We’ve got a good thing going on
Aside from the obvious 3 day weekend, working fewer days every week has been great for our mental wellbeing, especially in the middle of a global pandemic.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, nearly 1 in 7 of us experience mental illness in the workplace. However, recent studies suggest that flexible working eases anxiety and stress. A study by Kingston University, on behalf of the CIPD, found that workers with more flexible hours tend to be more emotionally engaged, satisfied at work and less likely to quit.
And we have to agree with the above. Once we got into the swing of things, the four day week has enabled us to stay focused, motivated and productive, which has benefitted us and the agency – win, win!
More time off = better creative ideas. Whether you work in a creative industry or not, most of us have felt mentally exhausted or burnt out from time to time. Since we’ve moved to a shorter working week, it’s improved our alertness and energy, which enables us to channel our creativity better.
Our Graphic Designer, Andy likes to “save Fridays for the boring non-work related stuff” and we feel him. We’d rather get the rubbish stuff out of the way, so we’ve got all weekend to chillax. Sorry to rub it in, but we can’t help ourselves.
Did someone say 3-day weekend?!
As much as we love Punch, we don’t live and breathe work. We have hobbies, families and lots of life admin (meh!), and the beauty of the four day week is that it gives us so much more time to step back, wind down and just breathe.
As our Junior Marketing Exec, Zoe, put it, “Fridays are all about self-care”, and I think every single person at Punch would agree! We have so much more me-time, which has been a godsend in covid times.
Whether we spend that time catching up on boring life admin or doing something that makes us feel good, it’s up to us how we spend our extra day off. I’m sure many of us will use the 3-day weekend as an excuse to pack a bag and go on short breaks away when we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic.
Now we know what a 3-day weekend feels like (that’s amazing by the way!) we could never go back. Fridays really are the new Saturday.