Five reasons why we embrace a 4 day work week at Agile 

And 5 myths that seriously need busting!  

The Agile Communications Agency has achieved gold accreditation as a 4 Day Week employer.  

It’s about a year overdue and is possibly one of our best kept secrets – we deliver the same energy, focus and passion as any other boutique agency that’s punching above its weight. We strive to work smarter rather than harder, and certainly not longer.  

In truth, we didn’t know you could get accredited as a 4 Day Week employer until I attended a round-table event with Evolve Futures, part of the University of Exeter. So, this is the icing on the cake for a culture that inwardly, we know works for our team and outwardly, is something we want to shout about as we grow our team and attract new clients. 

Delivering impact on 4 day work week is not really something new for me. I have been working a 4 day week for 14 years, since I became a parent. 

When I set up Agile as an independent practitioner, I knew my work had to be sustainable both financially and for my mental health whilst I raised my strong little women. A full-time job didn’t make sense for me, and no part-time jobs matched my experience or earning aspirations.  

Why have a 4 day work week 

So when I dipped my toe back into the employment pool again, I knew it had to be part of our offer. Here are the reasons I have set the 4 day work week as a cornerstone of our culture and productivity. 

  1. We employ grown-ups: Everyone has adulting to do. It’s not just parents who may need a flexible definition of what is full time – you may have other caring responsibilities, volunteering roles, a side-hustle that also delivers for you. 
  2. Protecting our brains: We are selling creativity, strategy and problem solving – and for that to work, our best brains need to be rested. 
  3. Tech: Digital advances in the workplace mean we shouldn’t have to be working 40+ hour week to be productive and profitable. AI tools should be making it ever easier. 
  4. Reduced sickness absence: My finance colleague asked me about our sick pay policy recently, and I realised we’ve barely had to refer to it. We have very limited sickness absence. Results from a 4 Day Week pilot showed there was a 65% reduction in sick days amongst the businesses who took part. 
  5. Reduced stress and burnout: Many of us in the comms industry are very concerned about data from the CIPR and PRCA that 91% of those in PR have experienced poor mental health at some point in the past year.  58% said an overwhelming workload was a key source of workplace stress. 


I built this business from a position of burnout – this will not happen in my agency and on my watch.
 

So now you know why we chose to have a 4 day work week, but you may have heard some negativity about this way of working. So let’s bust some myths!  

5 Myths about the 4 day work week 

  1. Staff take a pay cut: This is the biggest assumption made when organisations move to a 4 day work week. We have made it clear that our full-time week is 30 hours, and our salaries reflect those similar within our region and size of business. We don’t do compressed hours (some 4 day work week businesses do, however). 
  2. Teams must jam all their work into a shorter time period: Not necessarily – we assign workload based on the capacity that’s available to us, and use Agile ways of working to collaborate and share the load and ensure we deliver the impact our clients expect. 
  3. Businesses take a financial hit: We’ve experienced a minimum of 20% growth in revenue year on year. Last year, we had 50% growth whilst taking on two employees. We set our targets and capacity very clearly based on what is available to us. 
  4. The business closes on a Friday: Not the case for us. We flex our day off each week depending on commitments in the diary, the pace of projects, and core meetings. Sometimes we take Fridays off, but there’s almost always someone here to respond to urgent queries. 
  5. Customer service is impacted: We work on high-profile, far-reaching, risky projects. We are there when our clients need us, and we flex our day off around these needs. Time and space away from consistently delivering means we have the headspace to look upstream for what might be coming. 

Want to know more about the 4 day work week? 
Get in touch for a chat with Rachel!  

Useful resources: 
4 Day Week Campaign 
British Business Bank article