A company boss has given his entire workforce a four-day week – without docking pay for anyone.
Martyn King, managing director of Plymouth-based marketing firm Fuel, began the six-month trial in early October.
A new scheduling system means the company still operates five days a week, with staff having to stagger which days they are in the office
The only caveat is that employees now have to start work at 8am, working until the usual 5pm – an extension of their working hours but a net loss of three hours per week for staff.
With the new hours, staff have received the equivalent of a 9% pay rise in their hourly rate, introduced alongside pay rises to combat the cost of living crisis.
King called the project an “extension” of the hybrid working environment that Fuel has adopted during the pandemic.
He said: "It's certainly boosted morale in the office, we're now in our third week of it.
"There definitely was a period of adjustment though, we prepared well for it – but people are starting to adjust from working a five-day working pattern to four.
"It's going well, but of course it is a big adaptation from the five day model people have worked their entire careers.”
King said that the firm now has two teams, with half taking their rest day on Wednesdays and the other half taking theirs on Fridays.
He added: "It's a trial and it's aimed at making sure people are more relaxed and more productive, so we'll need to run the trial through fully.
"We're a busy agency though, so we'll need to adapt and then see if we'll maintain it in six months."
The new programme follows three months of consultations between the business and its clients, along with its workforce and reviews of similar ongoing projects in the UK.
Fuel has been working with Portcullis Legals, which became the first business in the country to adopt a four-day week while also giving staff a pay rise.