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Redefining the working week

Specialist recruitment and outsourced people services partner Jackson Hogg has introduced a four-day working week.


Employees have dropped from five days to four days – without receiving a salary reduction.


The change, which takes effect today (August 1), will increase productivity, deliver an even greater quality of client service, strengthen employee mental health and wellbeing, and allow Jackson Hogg to bolster internal teams.


Under its four-day week, Jackson Hogg’s expert recruitment consultants will take one day per week as a rest day, subject to operational commitments.


Its Talent Partners – who deliver headcount plans, increase the speed of recruitment and control costs for clients – and its HR Partnership team – which provides everything from day-to-day assistance to fully outsourced support – will alternate rest days to ensure full coverage throughout the week.


Face-to-face meetings will remain key to operations, with technology, including Microsoft Teams and Zoom, used in addition to ensure clients’ needs are serviced anytime, anywhere.


Jackson Hogg’s offices – on the banks of the River Tyne, on Newcastle’s Wincomblee Road, and on Belasis Hall Technology Park, in Billingham, near Stockton – will remain open five days a week.

Ahead of the launch, the business, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in October, carried out extensive research into a four-day week.


Spearheaded by associate director of people Aoife Owens, it looked at global organisations such as Microsoft, which has seen productivity across its Japanese arm lift by 40 per cent on a four-day schedule.


It also assessed Durham-based lender Atom Bank, which says its switch to four days has increased worker engagement and lowered stress levels, and Denmark and Germany, which both have shorter working hours than the UK but are 23.5 per cent and 14.6 per cent more productive, respectively.


Richard Hogg, chief executive, said: “We are increasing the focus between Monday and Thursday, condensing each working day to provide even greater emphasis on supporting clients’ needs.


“Our services, the standard of support and the outcomes we deliver, will all be amplified.


“The change won’t compromise any of the qualities clients have grown accustomed to receiving – it will, in fact, do the opposite, because employees will be far more efficient and productive.


“Our success comes through delivery of talent to clients, and we’ll never stop doing that.”


And Richard said the change will help Jackson Hogg with its own recruitment plans, which will further strengthen client services.


He said: “We’re growing at a phenomenal rate; we were at 32 people last January, and we’re now at 110.


“But we still need more people.


“The plan is to grow our team by ten people per month from now on – and we believe our four-day week will really help us do so.”


Anthony Broadhead, chief operating officer, added: “We need a better balance, and providing staff with an extra day is a way of doing just that.


“It allows space to get odd jobs done, to attend appointments and properly refresh and recharge, to really flourish again at the start of the next working week.


“We are committed to fostering a place where people love coming to work.


“Our core value is care, and having a three-day weekend takes us much closer to having a better work/life balance.”