Newcastle Evolved Search agency launches four-day workweek

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A digital agency in Tyneside has announced plans to move to a four-day work week for all staff – with no loss of pay for employees working a shorter week.

Evolved Search, based at Toffee Factory in Ouseburn, Newcastle, has decided to offer its 45 employees a shorter work week on a six-month trial basis, in hopes of improving well-being and d ” offer a better work-life balance.

The agency, formed in 2014 and crowned Research Agency of the Year in January 2021 at the Northern Digital Awards, took over the concept following reports that Iceland’s successful four-year trial of working four days a week made employees feel happier and more focused. , and more productive. Trials are also underway in Spain and New Zealand.

Tom Etherington, Director of Operations at Evolved Search, said: “With continued growth and the arrival of the right people and the right clients to work with, we have found that we are able to offer more flexibility to the personal and it’s exciting to take this approach.

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

“We know that we will have to adapt because this is a big change for a company of more than 50 people, but the last 18 months in particular have shown that we are more than capable of it. “

The four-day workweek will be tested from August to the end of January 2022 – six months in total – to collect data on staff well-being, efficiency, etc. In the event of success, the general management anticipates a permanent deployment of the approach.

Employees will work 32 hours per week instead of their current 35-hour contract and there will be no loss of pay or benefits for anyone who takes a four-day week.

Likewise, if individuals choose to work 32 hours over five days and therefore work shorter days, this is also permitted.

Sinead Hall, People Manager at Evolved Search, added: “The pandemic has highlighted what many of us in HR already know – people work in different ways and the employer’s role is to let them the freedom and flexibility to do their best.

“As we prepare to return to more normalcy and update our policies to allow staff to work between home and our office, this seemed like the best time to roll out this initiative.

“By shortening the work week and allowing our employees to design a way of working that complements their personal lives, we hope to improve employee satisfaction, maintain our high levels of staff retention and attract new people to work. more varied horizons. “

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