Working a four-day week while still be paid for five days would be a dream come true for many. Being able to have three days off each week means more time for… you, family, friends, hobbies – whatever you may want. Brilliant surely?
But as a small or medium-sized business how can it be affordable?
We are asked this question on a regular basis – how can we afford it – “our salary bill is already high and with the recent increases in national insurance”, “losing a day’s productivity from each member of staff doesn’t make sense”.
It is a difficult question to answer. So, my response is normally to explain how we work.
Previously an office of eight people, we started working from home about five years ago. At first it was challenging, and we didn’t always get it right. We also quickly discovered that some people like the idea of working from home but not the reality and initially some people were working more hours than less, which had always been our main objective. Work smarter not harder. The first 12-months were a steep learning curve as we approached working from home in the same way we used to work from the office. That’s the first step to getting it wrong.
After the slog of those first 12-months, we revisited our initial decision – is that still what was best for our business? The answer was yes, so instead of trying to make “working from home” look like “working from the office” – we re-designed the way we worked.
Yesterday I was talking to the Chief Executive of a food production business that employed circa 80 staff.
The business had a small HR team of three, with a fourth person employed to run the payroll. Total cost gross cost circa £100k.
“Should I outsource my HR needs?”
The inevitable question – normally followed quickly with “What are the benefits?”. My answer, why the hell not! You could still invest in HR and payroll for less than half of the cost you are currently paying and still retain the standards, systems and processes you currently use. In addition, you will be acquiring… I then launched into my list of benefits.