At CloudWay we are always looking for smarter ways to work as a team. We have an ongoing Employee Wellbeing project through creating awareness on how to use the tools in Microsoft 365 to work smarter. The latest addition in our project is the introduction of #NoMeetingsFriday! We are very excited about this and look forward to seeing what effect this has in a 6-month trial period.
During covid we noticed the following behaviour in our team
- Too high billing rate over time.
- People repeatedly being stressed out because of back-to-back meetings and high workload.
- Less personal growth and community work, which is not good since all of our employees are thought leaders in their space.
- Work being done on weekends.
We decided that this is not a sustainable tempo. Previously we had one day per months which we called Community Day, where CloudWay employees could dedicate a day to collect their thoughts and get some writing done. This was difficult to get done since it was a random day and customers has precedence
The 4-day work week
Inspired by Andrew Barnes, book and TED talk on the subject, we started to see if this was something we could introduce in CloudWay. We are a modern place to work, and if the 4-day work week is a sustainable model we wanted to try it. There are three takeaways from the book that we want to achieve
- Be more rested on Mondays.
- More focused work on workdays.
- Move errands and other activities to Fridays.
CloudWay has employees in 5 countries, and it is difficult to give everyone a day off on Fridays. That is why we did the next best thing and introduced #NoMeetingsFriday. Here is how we implemented it
- You are still at work, but no billing is expected.
- No internal meetings are booked.
- No recurring customer meetings are booked, if you MUST have a customer meeting to keep the momentum going, then do that.
- Spend the day for personal growth through listen to podcasts, YouTubers, books on audible while you work out, mown the lawn, take a hike or while getting errands done.
- Spend the day reaching zero inbox and convert actionable emails to ToDo tasks and declutter your mind.
- Investigate new technology, write blogposts, make YouTube videos, prepare new talks or plan community events.
- Achieve better work-life harmony by doing less community stuff and work on weekends.
“What if Thursday could be the new Friday? Get your hours done, plan your next week and organize your tasks, so that you can be you on Fridays and don’t need to stress with practical stuff when the weekend comes” -Ståle Hansen, CEO CloudWay
No pay cut, no change in billing budget
Introducing #NoMeetingsFriday has made no change to peoples salary or bonus agreement. In fact, at CloudWay we have already budgeted with a 4-day billing week, so there is no change to how much billing is expected during the month. What we are hoping to see is that employees reach very high billing rates less often and that we normalize just above the budgeted rate.
Part of an ongoing Employee Wellbeing initiative
This is part of our ongoing Employee Wellbeing initiative. We have previously had internal workshops on working smarter by using Pomodoro technique for focus time, staying on top of all your tasks through tasks in Microsoft Teams and how to have better control over your notifications. These tools become more important now that we have more focused workdays. Other techniques are a good Microsoft Teams culture, so that we can move some of our meetings to conversations, spread conversations over channels, so that you can turn off notification for topics not related to you. When booking meetings, try to book shorter meetings, always evaluate how this meeting could have been more effective. When involving customers, try to be the one booking the meeting with a clear agenda.
We are looking forward to seeing where this initiative will take us. We will use Microsoft Viva Insights and surveys to measure changes in behaviour such as quiet days, focus times and reflections. Let us know if you want to know more about our Employee Wellbeing thinking and check out the workshops we offer on the subject.