STC Expeditions Announce Trial Of Four-Day Working Week
Exeter based travel company, STC Expeditions, has announced it is conducting a 12-week trial of a four day working week, starting 6th January 2020. Founded in 2006, STC Expeditions is a specialist educational travel and school expedition company, arranging ethical and adventurous school trips to destinations across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The trial will involve all full-time employees cutting their hours by 20% whilst retaining full pay. A rota system will ensure the office remains open as usual from Monday to Friday.
STC Expeditions director, Adrian Ferraro, says:
“The benefits of working just four days a week have been well documented in recent years and a growing number of companies have conducted trials to see if the approach works for them. Improved work-life balance, increased productivity, increased staff happiness, reduced sickness, better staff retention, better gender equality are just some of the observed outcomes. A 2019 study by the Henley Business School found that 64% of employers already offering a four-day week say they had observed an increase in productivity. It’s fair to say staff were quite shocked in December when we announced the trial, but now it’s had time to sink in everyone is very excited about it. The move to a four-day working week is not just about trying to find a better work-life balance, it’s about improving productivity and hopefully helping us grow as a company. This has been in the planning for more than a year. Last year we invested £10,000 in a new computer database to streamline our business. With that now in place and working well, we can test various prioritisation techniques and efficiency savings which will hopefully mean the four-day working week is a feasible next step. We’re not blind to the potential issues though. Our team is fully aware the trial can be halted, extended or adjusted depending on what happens. That said, we will all be working hard to try and make it a success!”
In an innovative initiative, company directors and employees are being asked to spend one of their extra days off each month volunteering for a charity of their choosing. A range of options from conservation work and volunteer prison visits, to walking group co-ordinators and becoming a ‘befriender’ to older people are currently being organised by the team.
One further day a month is to be spent on a ‘Big Ideas Day’, where staff have the freedom to work on a new idea or project related to the company’s work. There are no stipulations – it could be further efficiency savings, a new product or marketing campaign. Each month, staff have to give a five-minute presentation about the ideas they come up with.
“The idea behind the volunteering and big ideas days is twofold; firstly, to hopefully have a wider positive impact in the community, but also to give each of us the space to think. It’s important we all get the chance to look at our work, the company, our products, how we interact with our clients… and how all of it could be improved. With five of us thinking ‘big’ each month, that’s 60 days a year of free-thinking innovation. It will be interesting to see what comes out of it.”
The trial ends on 28th March 2020 at which point a variety of key indicators, questionnaires and discussion points will be used to evaluate whether the four-day week should be adopted permanently.
For more information on STC Expeditions, please visit: www.thestc.co.uk