An update on the CS&S 4-day workweek trial

What we’ve decided

In July, 2023 the CS&S core team implemented a 4-day workweek trial in response to concerns including: burnout and work-related stress, the role of urgency in perpetuating racial inequities and white supremacy, and an intention to prioritize care and rest. Our blog post introducing the 4-day workweek trial describes the intention and context of the trial in more detail.

After 3 months, we surveyed staff and fiscally sponsored projects to surface impacts, challenges and learnings from the trial, and found unanimous support for a continuation of the 4-day workweek on the CS&S core team. As a result, the CS&S office will continue to be closed on Fridays, and plans to hold regular internal and external check-ins to refine our strategies for aligning our work culture with our values: We put people first. We seek fellow travelers. We commit to delivering quality work. We are learning.

What we’ve learned

100% of team members relate positive effects of shifting to a 4-day week. Multiple team members expressed increased energy and drive, increased calm and happiness, capacity for deeper thinking, and less stress.

Most importantly, it is clear that agreeing to trial a 4-day week was only the beginning of a process of shifting how we work. 3 months in, all team members relate they are, at least occasionally, still working on Fridays. Leaning into the trial as a permanent policy requires that we continue to experiment with ways to use a 4-day week more effectively, including: synchronous and asynchronous work blocks, meeting facilitation strategies, ongoing capacity management practices and collective accountability to communication boundaries Thursday through Monday.

As we explore efficiency, productivity, and timeline management, team members are continuing to reflect on the ways in which urgency structures our relationships with each other and our external partners.

What our partners can expect

The 4-day work week trial was met with positive reception from our fiscally sponsored projects, but we heard that it introduced some confusion and complexity with how pressing timelines and external coordination would be handled.

To address these issues, we can ensure that 100% of requests are received, confirmed, and resolved within the time frames stated in our Communication Guidelines for FSPs (note that business days refer to the standard workweek of Monday through Friday, not the CS&S office schedule) and administrative support will monitor our team inbox, should any emergencies arise on Fridays. We’re also committed to expanding our library of policies, guides, and other self-service documentation on the CS&S Resources page to promote transparency to our projects and external partners.

We have updated our Communication Guidelines for FSPs with this information, and have also improved the suggested lead times for requests with more details on payments and factors that can impact how long these take.

We welcome feedback, questions and suggestions as we hone our processes, and appreciate the support of our partners in our journey to better serve the CS&S mission, vision and values, both in the world and in the workplace.