A Year of Reduced Hours Work
In January 2023, ATA piloted a new reduced hours work schedule. Our philosophy is that a life well-balanced between work and play is a more productive and happier one. Technology, which is evolving at breakneck speed, should allow fewer hours worked, not more. Staff retained their full-time salaries and benefits while reducing their hours to 30-per-week, whenever possible. This was a year of adjustments to workflows, meeting schedules, and expectations. Read on to hear from staff in their own words.
What is your best piece of advice for someone who is trying to adapt to a reduced hours schedule?
- Reduced Hours Work (RHW) is a great opportunity for managers to create a team environment– one of unity, within the organization. If done well, offering RHW strengthens the concept that we’re all in this together, working toward a common goal and we all rest together as well. It’s the definition of work hard, play hard.
- Make sure the meetings you create or attend are efficient and necessary.
- I have found myself to be arguably more productive than ever, because I am getting better at prioritizing the tasks that add the most value to the company and our partners.
- The change for me personally has resulted in more focus during the days I am on and available because I value the ability to take the additional time for my own needs.
- I’ve seen more of the city I live in thanks to the reduction in work hours, and I feel like I am more productive when I am working, which benefits my sense of wellness the rest of the week.
- Quality over quantity can lead to even more innovative outcomes. Leverage technology for collaboration and efficient production. Help others in your organization to adapt, and be patient.
Are there any aspects of your personal life that have improved with the flexibility of a reduced hours work schedule? Please feel free to be specific.
- I have been able to schedule medical appointments on Fridays instead of during the week. I take time for myself, work out, pursue other hobbies/interests, and rest. It has been life changing and I love it.
- My mental health has improved significantly and I still feel like I get as much done as I used to in 5 days! My work is also better, since even if I’m working on Fridays, I’m not running between meetings or being interrupted on Teams like I feel like I am the rest of the week! It gives the flexibility to dive into specific projects, but also not feel like I have to if I don’t have a major deadline coming up.
- I’ve been able to explore all kinds of things – an art class, rock-climbing, long weekend trips without having to use PTO, etc. I feel an overall sense of solid work/life balance. Life is good 🙂
- I cannot put into words the gift of regaining the space to be more creative, and adventurous. It feels bigger than a day. It feels rare and unique. It has improved my overall well-being. Outside of love, family, and friends, there is nothing more valuable than time. I am using it wisely and with vigor. Monday feels so good. Rested. Ready. Rock’n.
- I have more time to reflect and take a step back. I get more sleep.
- I’m able to tackle many “weekend chores” on Fridays, which frees me up to be much more present for my kids on Saturdays and Sundays.
We will continue to track productivity, engagement, and staff well-being our second year of Reduced Hours Work.