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Highgate IT Solutions makes four-day week permanent

After a six-month trial, the results are in and the benefits of working a four-day week are clear for Highgate IT Solutions

Channel player Highgate IT Solutions started a four-day working week trial in April, and is now sharing the results after a six-month trial period.

In the era of hybrid working, almost everyone across all tiers of the channel are looking at how they provide employees with the flexibility they are looking for – as such, there will have been plenty of CEOs watching the Highgate trial to see its conclusions.

Highgate has decided to keep the four-day week as a permanent feature after a successful six months, reporting that service levels remained consistent, productivity increased and targets were hit or over achieved.

“We needed to find a balance between the wellbeing of our employees and the success of the business. We wanted to support our employees and ensure the right level of resource was available across the business at any given time. By not doing so, we risked overloading our employees, which could prove to have an adverse effect on their wellbeing and undo the positives that the four-day week brings,” said Highgate managing director Stuart Marginson.  

“Plus, it was important that our customers continued to receive the same level of service they are used to, and that the business was operating at its full capacity, all day, Monday to Friday,” he added.

The firm has been working to the 100:80:100 model, with it committing to paying staff 100% for 80% of their time in return for 100% productivity. It remained operating five days a week and saw productivity remain high, recording a record sales month in May, and received positive feedback from staff.

Highgate worked with Ultimate Resilience, a team of clinical psychologists, during the trial to track the impact of the four-day week on employee wellbeing and experience. Staff completed surveys at the start and the end of the trial that covered work-life experience, emotional exhaustion, and measures of wellbeing and resilience.

At the end of the trial, workers shared how they felt the four-day working week had affected their lives, both professionally and personally, and the results showed that happiness had increased, along with time spent with family and on hobbies and activities, and that levels of emotional exhaustion had decreased.

“This all stemmed from us asking ourselves, ‘What can we do to massively improve the lives of our employees?’. We knew it would not be easy, and we would have to continuously learn and adapt, but everyone approached it in a very mature way that allowed the trial to be such a success,” said Highgate sales director Bob Sahota.

“We hope that our journey can inspire even a few other companies to fearlessly explore moving to a four-day week, as the positive impact it can have on employee wellbeing, mental health and overall work-life balance is too great to be ignored,” he added.

Joanna Burrell, from Ultimate Resilience, said that Highgate was a business that understood the importance of staff wellbeing and its link to business performance.

“Partnering with them to evaluate their 4DW [four-day week] trial has been an exciting and fascinating project, which has revealed some important insights into the impact of alternative working patterns on employee and business functioning,” she said.

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