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Digital marketing agencies weathered the wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with relative ease. We are a remote-friendly part of the industry and didn’t have all the same ship-steering issues that our more long-established colleagues had to face. Even when we put it back, many of us were able to shift our focus so that we could keep the team for the future.
Planned or not, people quickly learned during the pandemic whether they liked the work they were doing. We’ve seen it play out in the Great Resignation. Workers are willing to make huge sacrifices to improve their work-life balance and have more flexible schedules, to care for their families or to strengthen their mental health. Offers like pay raises, unlimited paid time off, and full medical benefits were no match for those experiencing burnout or quietly quitting.
So what is one successful method digital marketing agencies are practicing to retain engaged employees and recruit new talent? They offered them a shorter work week.
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What is a four-day work week?
40-hour workweeks, 8-hour days, occasional breaks for lunch, and extended coffee breaks are obsolete. Historically, this has been a way of protecting workers and increasing overall productivity in certain industries. Work at a digital marketing agency is very different from work done on an assembly line, so while the transformation doesn’t lose some effectiveness, it’s exactly what gave structure to the modern office.
Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom have all successfully experimented with four-day workweeks. An old corporate security guard might view a compressed work week with skepticism, but the data shows that his four-day-on, three-day-off schedule has a positive impact on employee well-being, family It just shows that it’s a balance, and that it improves productivity. Long weekends may seem like a luxury, but extra sleep, quality time with loved ones, and the opportunity to slow down can really benefit our bodies and minds.
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Working remotely also proved what we creators knew from the beginning that it doesn’t matter when, how or where you work, as long as the deadlines are met. The work-from-home week was more productive, with employees starting their days earlier and even ending later. I began to understand that having less stuff made my employees happier. No one really wants to attend another breakout session or pause their workday for a much-needed HR celebration when a deadline is looming.
How to implement a four-day work week
The four-day work week trial may vary by company. You can start slow and test compressed hours of one week per month. All staff can be off on the same day, or if the agency must operate during a normal week, you can set up a schedule for employees to choose from in rotation. Workplace management software and task automation tools can help your business run smoother, no matter which route you take. Companies can make available skill-building resources, especially in time and task management, prioritization and organization, and verbal and written communication.
A four-day workweek increases worker satisfaction, narrows the gender gap, and has a better-than-expected return on investment. However, it should not come at the cost of cramming more into what might initially feel like a short time frame. and defeats the purpose of the new schedule, which was meant to give you more autonomy and create space for your talent to shine.
Why is a 4-day work week suitable for a digital marketing agency?
Digital marketers don’t waste an extra two hours of their day. Especially when it’s possible to use the time without distraction to get the deep work done that is often needed. With enough notice in advance, you can work your holidays according to your calendar, except for important meetings, product launches, or important customer events.
Joe O’Connor, CEO of 4 Day Week Global, is leading the pilot program for 6 months, 4 days a week. The business he has worked with his leader describes moving the company to a compressed week as “the cheapest and most efficient process improvement strategy.”
A flexible work schedule is not only an advantage over our competitors, it is also expected. It’s even easier to try in an office that follows a hybrid schedule where team members already work a set number of days in and out of the office.
A digital marketing agency can lead
Remote work has benefited the world. Digital marketing agencies can lead the rest of the industry in promoting the efficiency and benefits of a four-day work week. Why not try this “ahead of its time” concept? Our team will be happier and more productive, so support your team and kick out a culture of burnout at the same time.
Related: 10 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Digital Marketing Agency