Boss introduces four-day working week for staff – without docking pay

How does a four-day week as well as a 9% pay rise of your hourly rate sound?

This is the reality for employees of Martyn King – the managing director of marketing firm Fuel.

The boss has just introduced a four-day working week for his business – without docking any pay.

The Plymouth-based company, that provides market insights into major businesses such as Google and Meta (Facebook), is adopting this new model until March 2023 – as part of a six-month trial.

Staff simply have to start work slightly earlier at 8am and finish at 5pm – which is more working hours but an overall loss of three hours per week.

With these new hours, employees have also received a 9% pay rise in their hourly rate – as well as pay rises to help with the cost of living.

This means Fuel is the first business in the country to adopt a four-day week and give staff a pay rise.

Company boss Martyn views the project as an ‘extension’ of the hybrid working environment the company created during the pandemic.

He says: ‘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.’

Now in its third week, the project has boosted morale in the office, too.

The business also still runs for five days a week – due to certain staff rotations.

Martyn adds: ‘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.’

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