Irish company sees productivity increase by 27% after introducing four-day week
"The experience as a whole has been very, very good." Will this catch on in other Irish workplaces?
With the majority of Irish people returning to their place of work this week, the topic of a four-day working week has been resurrected on the back of reports that Finland’s new prime minister was considering adopting it as a policy.
On this note, one workplace that has already adopted the four-day week is the ICE Group, a recruitment and training company in Galway.
As mentioned previously, ICE Group started to trial the four-day week last July and the results have been extremely positive.
During a recent interview with Dermot and Dave on Today FM, ICE Group HR Manager Breann McGarry said that after the successful completion of an initial six-month period, the four-day week will remain in the company.
In terms of how the day-to-day office environment still functions, McGarry stated that the office opening hours are exactly the same as before - so the customer experience is the same - but the working hours and patterns within the business have changed to operate on a four-day schedule.
During a recent company presentation, she said that productivity is up by 27% and that "the experience as a whole has been very, very good".
"There are some bumps in the road but we certainly haven't seen any major, catastrophic actions," McGarry said.
Regarding these aforementioned bumps, McGarry said that the need to cover annual leave across a variety of different roles and departments in the office has been challenging.
She also stressed that company employees had to undertake a lot of cross-training to ensure that enough staff were skilled to meet the needs of their clients on a daily basis.
However, because the company planned these changes ahead of time, McGarry said the transition was relatively seamless.
"Overall, I think we are much happier and they survey results have shown this. People did say that they're much happier, especially some newer staff that are not long in the company," she said.
During the interview, McGarry was asked if there has been any negative reaction from clients, or other businesses that interact with ICE on a daily basis?
"I wouldn't say any negative feedback, but just a little bit of questioning. The client always wants to know what's going on and that's our job, to put them at ease and make sure that they do know that they are going to be taken care of," she said.
After a successful trial period, ICE Group will continue to operate on a four-day week.
You can listen to the interview in full here.