The 4 Day Week: An Art Director's Story
Back in June we signed up to a 4-day working week trial for 6 months, with no reduction in pay for staff. Now that we're nearly halfway through the trial, we wanted to give you an update on how it's going! First up in a series of posts, here's Andy, one of our Art Directors to share what it's been like for the marketing art team...
What’s your role?
I’m responsible for looking after the Creative Services team, we create the studio’s UA output which in general is video based creatives. We also get our hands dirty with game trailers, coming up with creatives for games in development and whatever else we can get our hands on :) The team is composed of 9 super talented artists who also happen to be the loveliest people you could ever wish to meet.
How long have you been at Hutch?
Losing count! I think it’s over nine years now which is a long time, I’m still here as I enjoy the work and the people here. It’s been an interesting place to be as the studio has never stood still.
THE 4 DAY WEEK
What was your first reaction when you found out that Hutch was taking part in the 4 Day Week trial?
Very happy! :D We were progressive nine years ago with a hybrid studio and now we are progressive again. I’d love that we can make this work and other studios get on board with it.
What’s been the biggest challenge for your team?
We need to create the same amount of output as we did before the 4 Day Week started. I think there’s a tendency for people to think we get paid for 5 days a week whilst working 4 and that’s it. The key thing is that our productivity stays the same (or better) so we produce the same amount of work but in 80% of the time.
What’s been the biggest change to your working week?
We have fewer meetings and tend to schedule them for days that we're working in the office so they can be done face-to-face. It's certainly busier during the week, but I have no problem switching off once Friday arrives (which I wasn’t expecting to be the case). It helps that you know the whole company isn’t at work so you aren’t playing catch up on Monday morning.
What are your top 3 productivity hacks?
Concentrate on the task at hand and don’t let yourself get distracted. Stop going to every meeting you are invited to and most importantly trust your team, I can’t stress that enough!
Were there any unexpected outcomes / experiences?
Less procrastinating and so far we’ve managed to stay on top of our workload. It’s going well. We’ll continue to adapt how we work as a team to maximise the available time we have available to us.
What are your hopes / plans for the remainder of the trial?
That we can make this work at studio level and that this encourages other studios to give it a go.
THE LONG WEEKEND
How do you use your extra day?
I get some weekend chores out of the way, meet up with friends and family, ride my motorcycle, chill, play games, long walks with my dog. Nothing out of the ordinary, just enjoying the day. We plan to take some long weekends away later in the year.
What impact has the extra day off had on you and your team?
Very positive to date. Here’s a quote from one of my team from our last retrospective: “the 4 day week/new workflow is having a big positive effect on my focus. the last couple of jobs have flown by and I’ve just had all my concentration on the job at hand. The pandemic had kind of eroded my focus but it feels like with a proper rest at the weekend it's all come back. It's been a very abrupt positive change.”
How do you find your team tend to use their extra day?
In general similar to the above, although there are people in the studio that have taken up learning new skills on their Fridays.
How do you ensure people don’t end up working on the Friday?
I don’t police it as I’m not working - so I’m not checking in on Slack etc. There are a couple of emails that have had to be answered on a Friday previously, and one of the team spent a part of a Sunday setting up a new machine. But in general we seem to be coping with our workload so it’s not something I’m overly concerned about.
TIPS FOR IMPLEMENTING A 4 DAY WEEK
What advice do you have for other companies thinking of trying out a 4 Day Week?
There’s plenty of reasons NOT to try this, but the rewards are there for people that want to take the jump. Don’t think you will have answers for everything when you start and be flexible so that you can change and adapt to the new hours.
Any specific advice for those with a similar team (e.g specific to customer support / production / marketing)?
We waste time without realising it during a normal 5 day week, it’s surprising how much it’s possible to condense the workload down when you need to.
Find out more about the UK's 4 Day Week trial, being run by 4 Day Week Global, with 70 companies taking part: https://www.4dayweek.com/news-posts/uk-four-day-week-pilot-begins
Interested in working at Hutch? Check out our current vacancies here: https://www.hutch.io/careers/