Successful trial sees four-day work week introduced at PR firm

Ellen McGann, BQ Live

A PR agency has become the first in the UK to implement a four-day work week without cutting staff pay, after seeing positive results from a six-week trial.
Radioactive PR’s trial began on June 25th, with staff working Monday-Thursday, and ended with the sixth Friday, on the 3rd August. Following the success of the trial the shortened working week began, effective immediately.

During the trial the agency won five new clients across multiple sectors, adding to its roster of personal PR and brand clients. Each staff member said they’d enjoyed a better work-life balance, and each said they’d felt ‘more relaxed at home as a result of the trial’. All client respondents said they would be comfortable with the agency incorporating the four-day work week beyond the trial.

Rich Leigh, the founder of Radioactive PR, said: “Happy staff doing great work with happy clients. It’s not the catchiest mission statement, but, three years in, it’s an ethos that’s served us well, and we’ve grown to a team of ten so far with that at the core of how we work.

“The most important thing for us was to ensure that client results didn’t suffer because of the four-day week, and the results are overwhelmingly positive. To that end and given that PR crises and enquiries can come in at any time - one year, my Christmas dinner was interrupted by a developing situation! - we made the promise to clients that should they need us, we’re available.

“During the trial, media enquiries did indeed come in, and not one got missed, amounting to no more than a few minutes’ work per team member each Friday. That’s no more than any given weekend.”

He continued: “Presenteeism is good for nothing and nobody, and I’ve long-thought that overworking and unrealistic expectations on staff time runs counter to results, especially in an industry where, last year, 60% of people surveyed said they’d experienced mental ill health. For me, I’d sooner take a hit on our margin by hiring earlier than push staff to capacity, as we continue to win new clients and grow.

“More and more evidence speaks to a work-life balance that doesn't impact on quality or effectiveness in certain business sectors and isn't 'just because it's how everyone's always done it', and we're in the fortunate position of being able to give it a go. It's exciting.”
uploaded: Thu, Sep 6 2018
modified: Tue, Dec 30 1969