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BD Giving Notes #42 – ‘’Exploring A 4 Day Working Week‘’

By pioneering this shift in our working world, we're sending a clear message that the changes we want to see won't happen unless we make it happen - together.

In this Note Cameron and Kate invite you to follow along as we develop our approach to a 4 day work week.

“Workers won the weekend 100 years ago. It’s time we fought for the next upgrade.” 

Like many, BD Giving has paid close attention to the 4 day work week pilots that have happened across the UK and we’re ready to start our own trial. 

We recognise the privilege that this opportunity represents, and that not all organisations or services in Barking and Dagenham are able to contemplate this right now. However, we invite you to follow along as we research other’s experiences and develop our unique approach to a 4 day work week.

Why we’re trialling a 4 day week

We hope to demonstrate that there are other ways of working in the world that increase staff happiness and wellbeing without sacrificing our mission or the success of our organisation. We are glad to have had the support of our trustees in this endeavour, and whose oversight will be invaluable in assessing it. 

We are attracted to being part of the group of pioneers that want to change the system and lead the movement toward increased flexible work. It aligns with our boundary-pushing ethos and the values that we have embraced since our inception. Values that have manifested into actions such as:

  • Compensating people for participating in our decision-making processes is an area where we are seen as a leader. 
  • We are also proud to have been a Living Wage Employer for almost two years,
  • Encouraging people we fund to put a value on their time to allow them and their work to thrive.

 

We do not subscribe to the idea that productivity is directly related to the amount of time spent behind a desk. We believe instead that productivity can be increased by working with intentionality, giving a more prominent role to planning, carving spaces in our time for focused and collaborative work, and minimising the time we spend in meetings.

As we release these inefficiencies and move BD Giving towards increased productivity, we are also aware that the gained satisfaction of seeing work progress fast(er) may be offset by a feeling that one has to perform at all times. We believe that moving to the 4 day work week is a good way to ensure that productivity gains are shared with every member of the team in the form of added down time to focus on oneself, to spend with family and friends, or in the community. 

How will we do it?

We have worked as a team on preparing for this pilot since November 2022. It is not something that we have entered into lightly; indeed, we initially planned to begin the trial at the start of the year but realised that this hadn’t left us enough time to plan so pushed our timeline back.

We are testing out a 4 day week for a period of six months, starting now. During this exploration, we will monitor changes in wellbeing and productivity across the team using a variety of tools. While we won’t share too many details now, we look forward to sharing our learning and experiences with you, regardless of any eventual outcomes. 

By pioneering this shift in our working world, we’re sending a clear message that the changes we want to see won’t happen unless we make it happen – together.

BD Giving Notes is a bi-monthly blog aimed at sharing some thoughts on running a social infrastructure charity.

Each post focuses on things we have learnt or done; what’s gone well and what didn’t.

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