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Highgate IT Solutions shifts to permanent four-day working week following trial success

The company's sales director says the results “far exceeded anything we could ever have imagined”

London-based IT reseller Highgate IT Solutions has announced a permanent shift to a four-day working week, following the success of a six-month trial period. 

The company began testing the scheme on 1 April, in a move believed to be a first of its kind in the UK channel, with the aim of giving staff more free time while retaining its usual productivity levels.

It implemented the 100:80:100 model, committing the business to 100% pay for 80% of time, in return for 100% productivity. 

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With the trial now complete, Highgate has revealed that the initiative was “overwhelmingly successful” and as a result, it will be implementing the working structure on a permanent basis.

Bob Sahota, sales director at Highgate, explained that the COVID pandemic changed perspectives on people’s time and how it’s used via a post on LinkedIn.

“We all experienced suffering to varying degrees and the long-term consequences were unknown,” he said. “As an organisation we have always prioritised employee wellbeing and mental health ahead of everything, making that the keystone of our entire operation, knowing very well that if we as a company can look after our employees, they will in turn look after us.”

The launch of the four-day working week gave the company the opportunity to take this philosophy further, with the prospect of significantly improving everybody’s work-life balance.

“The reality is that our results far exceeded anything we could ever have imagined,” he added. “Commercially, we saw performance and productivity increase, including several individual and team personal bests being registered throughout the trial. We also experienced zero negative cases from our clients.”

However, Sahota said it was the positive impact on employee wellbeing that was the most impressive outcome of the trial. 

“We saw work/life balance and overall quality of life improve the most. Seeing how everyone used their new-found extra time was also very rewarding,” he said. 

“For me personally, I would say it has been nothing short of life changing. Having an extra day to spend however I need to, has improved the quality of my life drastically.”

The push towards a four-day working week has gathered momentum since the pandemic. This year, not-for-profit organisation 4 Day Week Global and think tank Autonomy announced a UK-wide pilot programme to measure impact on staff productivity and wellbeing, as well as environment and gender equality.

More than 70 organisations signed up to the scheme, including 3,300 workers. Data taken at the halfway stage revealed that 95% of organisations had so far found productivity to either have been maintained or improved, while 86% do not intend to revert back to the old dynamic.

The UK's official nationwide trial comes after numerous other countries around the world have run similar pilots often returning successful results.

The most widely cited example was that of Iceland's which ran a four-year trial, reporting overwhelming successful results. Other countries to embark on similar pilots are Spain, which is currently trialling a three-year pilot, Scotland, Ireland, and Japan which is still planning how it will begin its trial.

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