The Covid pandemic has caused a big shift in work patterns, with many businesses switching to a hybrid system. In June this year, a nationwide pilot scheme commenced with over 60 UK companies taking part in a 6-month trial of a 4-day week. At the halfway point of the trial, 88% of respondents said it was working well and nine in ten said they would keep the new hours.
As something that we had been considering for some time, the Caribbean Blinds factory employees switched to a 4-day week in August and so far, it is proving to be a hit for both the staff and for the business.
How does it work?
Introduced in August, it was agreed that employees would complete 40 hours in 4 days from Monday to Thursday. Along with the re-structure, there was also an increase in pay, partly to take into account the cost of living and also to create a pay scale structure, which gives transparency and allows the team to see a clear progression path.
The new 3-day weekend gives the team time to relax and re-charge their batteries ready to hit the ground running on Monday mornings.
The feedback from the Caribbean Blinds employees after the initial 4 months has been unanimous in its praise for the incentive, with employees saying they feel well rested and refreshed when they return to the factory on a Monday morning. They also feel it has made a noticeable difference to their wellbeing.
Our MD Stuart is thrilled with the success of the incentive, commenting: “As a family run business with family values at our heart, staff wellbeing is at the centre of what we do. We wouldn’t be who we are without our team and we hoped that the introduction of a 4-day week would give them a better work life balance.
The feedback we have received since introducing the 4-day week has been really positive and we have definitely seen an increase in productivity as a result. The incentive will undoubtedly help with recruitment and staff retention as so many businesses are now offering a more flexible working environment.”
As the only company in the UK dedicated purely to external shading, we manufacture all of our products here in the UK and we have always been proud to make the highest quality products. This year we invested in a 10,000 sq/ft extension to our factory to ensure we can keep up with demand by being able to hold more raw materials, but drive down lead times.
The team recently scooped the Manufacturing Excellence Award at the national Scale Up Awards 2022 – further proof that the 4-day working isn’t doing us any harm at all!