A small Christchurch workplace believes adopting a four-day working week will lead to more energy and vitality.

Sarah Barrer, director of Barrer & Co, says the type of work they are involved in is incredibly intensive and requires high levels of internal and external engagement all the time. 

Barrer & Co works with not-for-profits to assist them with strategic, sustainable fundraising. 

“So what it means is your tank is often completely empty at the end of the day,” says Sarah.

“I noticed for me that I was feeling quite tired and just a bit drained so that my real life, which obviously includes my work life but also my personal life, was not getting as much from me and I wasn’t getting as much out of it.” 

Over the years Sarah had noticed people would start Monday at 85 per cent, having never been able to fully rest over a weekend - with all manner of tasks and family to fit in.

“I don’t want to start Monday like that, I want to start Monday feeling like I’m at 100 per cent and I want my team to feel like that so what is actually best for us is a four-day week.”

After putting it to her small team of two, it was decided that Friday would be their chosen day off to allow them to enjoy a long weekend. 

Sarah then discussed the idea with her accountant and lawyer, who were both on board with the move. She simply had to make a few alterations to staff contracts. 

“I feel like the risks, if there are any, will sort themselves out as we work through the year,” says Sarah.

Barrer & Co will implement the four-day working-week on November 26, 2018. 

Sarah and her team had discussed staff productivity and made their client base aware of the move. On Fridays, staff would have their ‘out-of-office’ emails set. 

“The benefits will not be just us as individuals and our wellbeing, but it will very much be our clients and understanding that fast and busy doesn’t always mean better.”

Fundraising manager Kylie Malin says being project-based, they are well-placed to plot out what needs to be done over four days 

“I have no doubt that we will absolutely be able to still deliver those projects as we have done previously, and to just as high of a standard. So I’m excited about the vitality that we’ll have coming into Monday.”

The team are now looking forward to taking some time to themselves on Fridays and getting stuck into their passions, including running, yoga, reiki and cooking. 

Come February, All Right? will check back in with the team at Barrer & Co to see how they’re going with their shorter work week.