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Business & Economy

Evolved Search announces 4-day work week pilot

Newcastle’s Evolved Search has announced plans to introduce a 4-day work week for all employees on a 6-month trial basis.

The multi-award-winning agency, formed in 2014, has decided to offer all employees a shorter work week in the hope of improving wellbeing and offering a better work-life balance.

The concept of the 4-day work week has been featured in the media recently, following reports that Iceland’s successful 4-year trial of working 4 days per week resulted in employees feeling happier, more focused, and more productive.  Trials are now ongoing in Spain and New Zealand.

Tom Etherington, operations director at Evolved Search said: “Through continued growth and bringing in the right people and clients to work with, we’ve found that we’re able to offer more flexibility to employees and it’s exciting to be adopting this approach.

“We’ve been working from home since March 2020 and our team now have a better work-life balance and are able to get on and do their best work, which in turn has had a positive impact on client results and overall efficiency.

“We know we’ll need to adapt as it’s a significant change for a 50+ person business, but the last 18 months, in particular, have shown that we’re more than capable of this.”

The 4-day work week will be trialled from August 2021 through to the end of January 2022 – 6 months overall – to gather data on employee wellbeing, efficiency, and more.  Should it be successful, the senior management team anticipates a permanent rollout of the approach.

Employees will work 32 hours per week instead of their current 35 contracted hours and there will be no loss of pay or benefits for anyone taking a 4-day week. Equally, should individuals choose to work 32 hours over 5 days and therefore work shorter days, this is also permitted.

Sinead Hall, head of people at Evolved Search said, “The pandemic has highlighted what many of us in HR already knew – people work in different ways and the employer’s role is to allow them the freedom and flexibility to do their best work.

“As we prepare to return to more normality and update our policies to allow all employees to work between home and our office, it seemed like the best time to roll this initiative out. With a shortening of the working week and enabling our people to design a way of working that compliments their personal life, we hope to improve employee satisfaction, maintain our high levels of talent retention, and attract new people from a wider range of backgrounds.”