So, that’s it, we’ve done it. Our agency has moved to a four-day work week. You might think we’re crazy, you wouldn’t be the first, but we haven’t made this decision on a whim. Let us take you on a journey.
When coronavirus first hit and lockdown was announced, like many businesses, we were panic-stricken, to put it frankly. With paused marketing activities and pulled campaigns, we had to act fast. We started drawing up new campaigns, which would usually take months to plan, in the space of a few short days.
With our team working from home until further notice, our agency went virtual. Our somewhat formal client meetings became more casual as we’d chat over marketing plans with a brew in hand (whilst trying not to be interrupted by family, kids and pets!)
Adjusting to the new normal
As the days and weeks went on, we started to adapt to a new agile way of working. Working from home became the new norm, and clients started to resume marketing activities. Stability slowly but surely started to return and we were able to start making short-term plans.
Once plans were plotted and ‘normality’ returned, attention turned to reviewing Punch. If you’re a business owner, you will know that opportunities to review workplace culture and how you can ‘do better’ don’t come around often. You get busy and it’s easy to get lost in it all! That’s why we grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
So, where does the four-day work week come in?
It’s a conversation we’ve had before, but almost like that lottery win conversation “what would you do if…”. Then, more articles started to emerge, with economists speaking in favour of a four-day work week due to its “range of benefits for employers and workers” and academic studies reporting that four-day work weeks could result in “lower stress levels, higher levels of job satisfaction and an improved work-life balance.”
With this in mind, and after carrying out staff surveys and long discussions, we decided that this was the right route for us. As a marketing agency, we’ve always tried to support our employees the best we can, whilst remaining as productive as possible.
Work isn’t all there is to life. People have friends, families and lives outside of work and we’ve always prided ourselves on avoiding overtime and promoting a positive work-life balance to guard against burnout.
Our Creative Director, Richard Lowes commented:
“We talked about working more effectively and helping to create a more socially conscious Punch Creative for the future. Our aim is to run an agency where people have the time to do the things they love, to tackle stress, prevent burnout and channel more creativity as a result of a more positive state of mind.
Our agency runs on ideas, so it makes sense that our focus is to create an environment where everyone is in the best place possible to be creative for the ultimate benefit of our clients.”
From July, we will move to a four-day work week, having Friday off, every week.
We strongly believe that the shorter week will enable us to be more focussed and productive, while the three-day weekend will be great for our employees and their mental health, leading to a happier workforce.
Yes, the global pandemic has been a challenging time but it’s allowed us to slow down, work more efficiently, focus on essential processes and review what’s really important for our futures.