Since we’re taking summer Fridays this summer, this might be the last Friday we work in our business at Team AP Consulting/ Dial Zero Marketing !! Our summer Fridays start next week (after Memorial Day), and if you’re interested in doing this in your business as well, I have some ideas/considerations for you.
Considering deploying a summer Friday?
Here are a few ways to do it:
- Every Friday, the office is fully closed. This is what we’re activating this summer – every Friday off from after Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend. To make this work we will do the following:
- Out of office replies live every single Friday so our clients are reminded.
- Letting clients know in advance so they can shift any internal workings.
- Having a TB meeting on Thursdays before we close today of what’s outstanding, what’s urgent, what’s coming up, and what we need to activate first thing Monday.
- This can also be done as a solopreneur!
- Choose 4-6 Fridays for team members to take off. This only really works with a full time team with 3+ members. By allowing your team to choose a few days off, you still have hands on deck to support clients if needed. I did not choose this option because my FT team members are so siloed in what they do (aka I don’t have 3 people in similar/the same roles), that if our graphic designer is out, we don’t have a replacement for her. So we might as well just all be off.
- Close the office at noon each week. I like this option as well because it gives you a shorter day. However, when I worked in corporate, this structure either meant that we all were so wildly unproductive for those 3-4 hours, orrrrr I had to “stay late” to work a full day because the business needed it, and I was already working so I might as well. I don’t hate this option at all though and think its a strong option!
For me, I’m a “go big” kind of person and if I want to see if we can do this forever, then let’s go hard. Let’s build a structure and system around a 4-day work week, starting with these summer Fridays. Now, if we do deploy this strategy past the summer, we’ll probably take Mondays off. But all of this is a test and things can change.
But Ashli, what if something is desperately needed ASAP on a Friday?
Four tips to making it work:
- I’ve built a business with strong boundaries where we don’t have a single client currently that we are responsive to in an urgent manner. Nobody has my cell phone number, and nobody asks for same day changes/edits/requests. In fact, same day requests cost $150 per hour with clients so it’s smart of them to align with how we work, which is weeks in advance. If our clients want same day responsiveness, I encourage them to consider a full time team member.
- There may be an outlying case where there’s a mistake, a hiccup, or a must-do-this-now situation. We will mitigate this as best possible by checking any “Friday” deliverables for quality assurance. Our clients also know we are doing this so a Friday request becomes akin to a Saturday request – where we will get to it Monday.
- Also, this is my business, my clients, with my name on the contracts. I’ll absolutely be on standby/on call if clients urgently need us. If I’m away, I’ll be checking Slack. If I’m at lunch with friends, I’ll bring my laptop. I’ll set us up for success while doing what we can to not create a reactive environment.
- Sometimes, we may not be able to avoid work on one of our summer Fridays. Listen, if someone on the team wants to work on a Friday, that’s their prerogative. If they want to respond to a client they manage/oversee on a Friday, by all means. If they say “hey saw that request come through, I can handle it” even though it’s a Friday, then do you girl.
We’re hoping and working towards, this becoming our new normal, so that we can commit to a 4-day work week in our business for good. I’ll keep you posted how it goes. For now, I honestly don’t see why we can’t continue with the right operations in place.
And let’s be real: I’ll probably work part of the day most Fridays this summer. This is my business after all and sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. Also I love my job so much and it’s hard for me to shut off during the week. But I’m also going to take this time, to challenge myself, to try this new way of working. It’s a benefit to the business and to my team that I’m happy to offer and that I know they will respect and manage with strong communication. We work well together so I’m very optimistic. Plus, nothing can burn down because of one day a week and if it can? We’ve got much bigger problems on our hands.