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  • Writer's pictureWavehill

It’s all go for a 9-day fortnight say Wavehill staff

Following a six-month trial to test how a 9-day fortnight working pattern could be implemented, staff at Wavehill have overwhelmingly voted to make this a permanent change.

How does the Wavehill 9-Day Fortnight work?

In July 2022, a six-month pilot was introduced to test a proposed change in working pattern for Wavehill staff. The proposed change put forward moved full time staff from working 37.5 hours per week or 75 hours every two weeks to working 72 hours every two weeks. This provided the flexibility for full time staff to work one 40-hour week and one 32-hour week, so they would not work on their 10th day. Some staff opted to take one half day off a week, whilst the majority have taken a full day off once a fortnight. Part-time staff were given a choice between an uplift in pay to work slightly more hours or a reduction in hours for the same pay. ​

To provide continuity of service to clients, those staff taking a full day have been divided in two teams with people taking their 10th day on a fixed day on alternate weeks.

How do we know it works for our business?

As a company we regularly check in with our staff via a quarterly staff satisfaction survey and through our staff forum. It is here that the idea to explore different working patterns emerged. It came as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to a wider shift in workplace practices and norms.

In the same way that we carry out consultancy work for our clients to inform important changes they are considering, we conducted an internal evaluation of this proposal. Looking at everything from staff attitudes through a scooping workshop, surveys, and staff interviews as well as reviewing company financials and client satisfaction data.

8 green boxes showing the key themes explored as part of evaluation. Including: work/life balance, wellbeing at work, job satisfaction, productivity, flexi-working, seasonality, operations, financial impact
Key themes explored as part of the evaluation process

Wavehill is an employee-owned company which means that all staff voted to trial the 9-day fortnight out. Following on from the evaluation, staff were invited to vote again to decide whether to revert back to a ‘normal’ 5 day working pattern or continue with the 9-day fortnight.

Why is this important?

A recent 4 day week UK pilot programme including 61 companies in the UK has recently reported that of those companies taking part in their 4-day week trial there was no reported drop in company revenue. The pilot also reported that employees felt 71% less burnt out and had 65% fewer sick days. Following the end of the trial, 92% of companies deciding to continue the policy. The momentum continues to build for changes in the workplace. As Megan Clark outlines in her previous blog, there is a lot of research available on the benefits of a reduced working week, in terms of productivity and wellbeing.

At Wavehill we are very much driven by our values and are continually working on our social value offering to become more ethical, to improve the way in which operate and to support our staff so that we can better deliver for our clients. Adopting a 9-day fortnight has measurably improved the wellbeing and productivity of our staff.

We are all excited by the plans we can make on our 10th day, and possibilities that have opened up as a result of the 9-day fortnight.

For more information about Wavehill’s journey to the 9-day fortnight please get in touch.


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