CS&S to Trial a 4-Day Work Week

Across sectors, workers and employers have been responding to the impact of burnout and work-related stress. Workplace experiments to hold intentional space for rest, care, and unstructured time are increasingly commonplace. Formal studies have pointed to marked benefits of reducing work time without sacrificing productivity. Analysis has also deconstructed the ways in which perceived urgency perpetuates racial inequities and white supremacy.

CS&S has been a remote workplace since our founding in 2016. From the beginning we have sought ways to mitigate Zoom fatigue and intentionally reserve time for deep work. In the early days of the pandemic, we instituted “Silent Fridays” as a day without any internal team meetings and “Flex Fridays” where every other Friday was flexible to be taken off at the employee’s discretion. These initiatives attempted to formalize both distraction-free time for deep work and time off to recharge.

We have learned that staff experience these policies differently. The completeness of a “silent” or “flex” Friday depend on your manager and working style. Urgency continues to creep into Fridays, bending the flexible guidelines around these policies. Despite the intention to work otherwise, many of our calendars remain full of synchronous commitments every Friday. As our team has grown, we’ve decided to end the silent and flex Friday initiatives and try a more standardized approach for three months.

Aligned with our commitment to developing sustainable and data-driven practices that are in line with our values, CS&S is trialing a 4 day work week starting July 1, 2023. We aim to maintain a consistent standard of service while enabling our staff to practice a balance of work and life that supports flexibility and a sustained well-being. In October 2023, we will be collecting data from staff and external partners to determine the efficacy of this trial. Following receipt of feedback, our staff will determine what Fridays look like at CS&S moving forward, and will communicate plans accordingly.

Photo by Muhammad Masood.