Tampa-Based Media Company Experiments With 4-Day Work Week

by Michael Abdoney - 01/15/2023 -Tampa

Brick Media, a tech company based in Tampa, has launched an innovative experiment for its employees in 2023--A four-day workweek with Fridays off.

The move intends to provide workers with a three-day weekend each week to bolster work-life balance and foster improved mental health. Moreover, it is also being touted as a recruitment tool for prospective hires.

Brick Media Founder and CEO Jake Kurtz, who spearheads social media for its client companies, had the impetus for the incentive while contemplating planned changes to the 2023 workweek to minimize burnout and bolster employee satisfaction. He had already intended to amp up work productivity during the Mon.-Thurs., 32-hour work block, with Fridays being more relaxed and envisioning no significant impact on the business. When Kurtz expanded his revision plans to focus on increased employee retention and reduced turnover, the three-day weekend incentive seemed like a natural progression.

The revised schedule involves employees completing their five-day workweek within four days while maintaining the output achieved over the former five-day allotment. Thus, the work quota will be completed within a 32-hour workweek vs. a traditional 40-hour week. This translates to an extra day off and a weekly three-day weekend for this 14-employee shop.

The media company is experimenting with this new schedule from January through the end of March 2023. Depending on the outcome, which will include factors such as client satisfaction, productivity, revenue, retention rates, and employee feedback, Brick Media will likely make the transition permanent.

For a business of this scale, the innovative move could be a potential winner, especially for a sector that is often plagued by heavy turnover and a transitional workforce. Moreover, the benefits of a truncated workweek are also not lost on many other companies and sectors that are considering a similar change or have already made the transition to a more life-balance-friendly schedule. Case in point, several European countries, such as France, Germany, and the U.K., have already adopted shortened workweeks while maintaining productivity.

This movement for a truncated workweek has only been bolstered by the effects of the COVID pandemic, which saw many employees and companies transitioning to remote, work-from-home settings across all sectors. Moreover, it exacerbated a focus on work-life balance and prompted a re-evaluation of professional as well as personal priorities.

Many workers have applauded and embraced the concept of a shortened workweek. Overwhelmingly, they believe this will only motivate employees to work harder within the four-day work schedule to maintain productivity. More importantly, it is also viewed as a token of appreciation and a concern for employees' mental health from participating employers.

The schedule shift could also be beneficial in the recruitment and hiring process. Another effect of the pandemic is that prospective employees are more introspective and focused on the big picture of what an employer offers in terms of its values, mission, and benefits, as well as the services it performs or goods they produce. Employers offering a truncated work schedule and remote work opportunities are winning over prospective hires in droves.

With larger-scale businesses, however, the results of a truncated workweek have been mixed thus far. In these situations, more complications can arise, and as a result, this aspect may slow the progression of adopting a reduced workweek on a broader scale.