Flexibility and healthy working
The world of work has changed and the traditional 9-5, Monday to Friday schedule is no longer the standard size that fits all. As a business we have always embraced change and prioritised building a flexible and inclusive environment for our staff, tailoring our approach to accommodate individual circumstances as well as looking at what will best support the business in the future.
Over the years we have introduced various flexible working options, including hybrid and fully remote working, part-time hours, compressed schedules, and adjusted start and finish times. This commitment to flexibility is hugely valued by our people and plays a significant role in our employee retention and overall productivity, as well as the health and well-being of our team.
The journey to a 9-day fortnight
In early 2023, understanding the positive impact flexibility has on a healthy work-life balance, we started looking at further, innovative ways we could support our people. Inspired by successful stories from other businesses, we introduced the idea of a company-wide compressed hours working pattern, and following an initial consultation period with our team, we have just implemented our 9-day fortnight trial. This is a flexible working arrangement which essentially gives employees an extra day off every other week by working their contracted hours over nine days instead of the traditional ten.
A successful start
We tested a similar concept with our production team back in October 2022, moving to a 4-day workweek. This was initially born out of an idea to support our sustainability goals and energy use efficiencies however also sparked wider discussions about the implications and benefits of altered working patterns across the business.
This experiment has given some great initial results: a 20% reduction in energy consumption and, crucially, positive feedback from our staff without compromising productivity or client deadlines. A member of our production team shared: "The flexibility around working days and start/finish times has been really helpful and one of the biggest benefits an employer could offer."
An exciting trial ahead
Building on this success, we consulted with our team, offering the 9-day fortnight trial as an optional choice. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of our staff embracing the idea. One member of our design team expressed, "This is a positive step for Ruddocks, giving people additional downtime and more time with family."
Obviously, with any change you need to look at how it will impact at an operational level. We have a supportive team behind us who see this as a very positive move, and they have helped us create the right processes and systems so that we can continue to exceed the expectations of our clients and drive the business forward. It is very much a team effort to provide a more balanced working life for individuals.
This trial aligns with our commitment to promoting a healthy work-life balance and the continual development of a productive, happy team. We very much hope it paves the way for the future of flexible working.
We have officially kicked off the 9-day fortnight trial this month which will run for a minimum of six months, and we genuinely believe it will not only enhance the well-being of our team but also contribute positively to our business.