What will the future of work look like? How do we maintain high morale in the workplace? How do we manage work-life balance?
These questions are raised across businesses as they look forward to working in the world as we emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown. With this ever-changing environment, innovative solutions are required to succeed.
To survive in the current situation, many businesses in Ireland had to lay off their employee to cut costs and maintain profits. Whereas, according to a recent HR Barometer report, the average cost of replacing an employee is roughly €14,430; which is more expensive in the long term than retaining staff. On the other side, many have adopted work from home strategy to continue operations. However, a recent survey from Irish Jobs highlighted that 44% of people working at home are working longer hours than the regular working day, with longer days contributing to extra stress and a reduced amount of personal time. This kind of prolonged desk work has long been linked to depression, obesity, and other health issues; defying the need to retain the employees.
Work Smarter Not Harder
ICE prides itself on changing lives for the better by sourcing top talent and matching them to great opportunities. Following our company SMART day in early 2019, as a team and as a cohesive organisation, we committed to ‘Be Bloody Brilliant‘. Our Journey on this path to succeed lead us to initiate and adopt a 4 Day Working Week with a 3 Day Weekend. We saw this as an opportunity for us to change the lives of our employees, improve our service to customers, and ‘Be Bloody Brilliant’.
We believe the pandemic is providing businesses with an opportunity to rethink what our work schedules should be and we recognise the value of adopting more flexible ways of working to motivate, encourage, and retain staff.
ICE Group, including ICE Jobs, Pitman Training Ireland West, Western Management Centre, and Galway Executive Skillnet, successfully implemented our Four Day Week initiative in July 2019 and has been spearheading the conversation about strategically moving towards a more flexible work pattern ever since. It was clear very early on in our trial of the Four Day Week that this was the way forward for our business. Our announcement to move to a Four Day week was greeted initially with absolute surprise and silence by our staff – but quickly recovering we are all much more focused, energised, and happy coming to work. This amazing initiative has given us real confidence that we can manage the new challenges this pandemic has presented.
The ICE employees work on either Monday to Thursday or Tuesday to Friday and have managed to succeed and increase their client contact hours while reducing the office hours. This has led to an increase in staff looking to upskill, as their Three Day Weekend includes a ‘Genius Day’ for education, travel, or just time to focus on themselves. The productivity has increased by 27% and the environmental impact of a shortened working week is clear to see, with a 20% reduction in travel immediately with one day less traveling to the office.
Promote Change And Succeed
With hundreds of thousands of workers receiving government support and businesses struggling to find a way back to profitability, now is the time for companies who can innovate with their schedules to join the 4 Day Week conversation and protect the health of their employees and business by promoting this change.