Serps Invaders in Edinburgh has become the first digital agency in Scotland to introduce the four-day work-week.
The full-service multilingual digital agency and its staff voted on the change, which was implemented in September 2013. Already staff are reporting greater satisfaction at work, a more relaxed atmosphere, and increased productivity. They also say they look forward to the weekend and feel more refreshed upon returning to work on Monday mornings.
Felicitas Betzl, Managing Director and Founder of Serps Invaders, said: “We wanted to differentiate ourselves further from other agencies. As a small digital agency it’s vital to provide great incentives in order to attract the best talent. We have already implemented personal training budgets and monthly research time allowances for all our staff, and we were looking for something that was truly unique that other employers in our sector are not able to offer their staff. Having studied the benefits of a 4 day week and convinced my business partners, we were glad to find that all of our staff immediately welcomed this new opportunity.”
The goal at Serps is to work a 37.50-hour work-week, Monday to Thursday, giving staff plenty of off-the-clock time to relax and work on personal projects. Staff can also choose their working hours, whereby some staff start their day at 7.30am, whereas others come in later. This also allows them time for personal mid-week tasks without being absent. All staff have laptops, so staff are able to work remotely and allows them to be on-call should any clients need them.
Reports earlier this year showed that 70% of marketing and communications agency employees say work affects their health, and recently economists have recommended a 30-hour working week for a healthier populace. The four-day work week is one way to improve staff morale and reduce work hours in an efficient way, giving staff more free time to spend as they please.
Several forward thinking and successful businesses have pioneered the four-day work-week as a way to shake up routine and encourage innovation. Software company 37 Signals (the creators of Basecamp), whose staff switch to a four-day work week May through October. After this and other changes CEO Jason Fried reported “the greatest burst of creativity I’ve seen from our 34-member staff. It was fun, and it was a big morale booster. It was also ultraproductive,” in an opinion piece in the New York Times.
Many government bodies and independent agencies also cite huge reductions in gas mileage and pollution, making their companies greener and more efficient. This also reduces costs both for staff in the form of petrol and for the company in the form of lower utility bills. Working from home is also an option for many agencies, with Fridays standing in as “research days” for catching up on independent research or spending time with families.
After 2 months under the new regime, Managing Director of Serps Invaders Felicitas Betzl said: “We are seeing great results from the 4-day work week so far. Staff are happier and more productive, it has been great for morale, and we are all more refreshed and happy upon returning to the office on Monday morning. Our clients have given us great feedback so far, and although the office is usually closed on Fridays, we are still flexible towards our clients’ needs and will always be available for emergencies or campaign deadlines.“
NOTES FOR EDITORS
About Serps Invaders
Serps Invaders is an international digital agency with offices in Edinburgh, Scotland and Gibraltar, specialising in cross channel multilingual digital marketing strategies. Serps offer online marketing services in 35 languages, which makes us one of the top multilingual SEO and digital marketing partners for our client base. The company now also offers full digital design & build services with the expansion of their team to include award winning Creative Director Ruaridh Currie who has provided creative solutions for world famous brands such as Channel 4 & Tottenham Hotspur in the last few years.
Serps stands for Search Engine Results Pages.