Welcome to the four day week
I received an email from one of our senior managers this week regarding a member of their team who was asking to formalise an arrangement to work at home one day a week. Now here is a test for you, have a guess which day they wanted to work from home.
Of course it was Friday. It always is, isn’t it?
A few years ago I inherited a team of 5 people, three of whom had flexible working arrangements. All three were off on the Friday. I sat down with each of them and asked why they worked four days a week. The answers I received were pretty standard and totally understandable, about spending time with their children. I’m a Dad I get that.
So why, when I asked if any of them were willing to move the day from Friday to another day of the week, did they all refuse? The best explanation I could receive was to have three connected days off together. “Fine” I responded, “have Monday off” strangely they never took me up on my offer.
The current request is based on the length of the commute. Now I don’t know whether this is me being simple, but surely the commute is the same length every day? Or am I missing something? I’m not against flexible working, I’m not against supporting people to have a better work life balance but as the manager said in their email, “soon there will be no-one left in the office on a Friday”.
And to emphasise this point, you would think that surfing the web at work would go up on a Friday, with people winding down for the weekend, right? But if I look at the statistics for this site and generalise, there are always significantly less visits on a Friday than on any other week day.
This confused me to start and then I worked it out….you’ve all gone home and left me, I’m here on my own aren’t I ….is there anybody out there?