Reimaging the workweek:

TOTEM introduces 4-day workweek trial

In February 2023, companies of all sizes will participate in a global 4-day workweek trial to answer the question on everyone’s mind: Is the 4-day week worth the hype? Here’s why TOTEM is becoming part of that movement.

In February 2023, companies of all sizes will participate in a global 4-day workweek trial to answer the question on everyone’s mind: Is the 4-day week worth the hype? Here’s why TOTEM is becoming part of that movement.

team TOTEM

As a concept, we believe the 5-day workweek is somewhat outdated. It’s been the ‘norm’ for a century and hasn’t been questioned or reviewed since. An always-on mentality, constant multitasking, and process inefficiencies have considerably affected our productivity, creativity and happiness levels. We believe a 4-day workweek is a better, smarter way to work. And so, from February 1st, TOTEM will participate in a global 6-month trial of shifting to a 4-Day workweek model.

A more meaningful way to work

While the 5-day workweek model may have served its purpose in the past, it was born in an era where factory work was the norm. In a 19th-century factory, a 5-day week was ideal. People would get up, go to work, do their jobs and go home. However, with the fast-paced tech evolution and increase in office-based roles, the rule that longer hours equal more productivity is an outdated belief we feel needs to be reviewed. If anything, our productivity and work-life balance have taken a severe hit. Think about it this way, when 90% of your work involves sitting in a chair and furiously exercising your brain, more hours don’t necessarily translate into more output.

In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that an average employee is only productive for 3-4 hours per day in a standard 5-day workweek. And not only that, but the average employee also loses 2-3 hours daily to unnecessary meetings, poor processes, and plain old distractions. The verdict is in. It’s time to seriously consider whether we must be clocked in Monday through to Friday.

Reaping the benefits

In the right context, the 4-day workweek is less a radical idea and more a natural step in the right direction. In today’s working world, we believe there is a significant discrepancy between the time we spend working and the time we spend with our families and friends. The 4-day week can be an opportunity to recalibrate our relationship with work and provide transformative benefits to our team, business and clients. We are implementing this change to:

Attract (and retain) the best talent

Since launching in 2002, the TOTEM team has grown significantly. And we don’t plan to slow down any time soon. To continue to provide our clients with the best experience, we need to keep adding incredible talent to our team. Working with TOTEM is anything but average, and that also extends to the way we work.

Support our team’s mental and physical wellbeing

Our team is our best asset. And looking after their wellbeing is a top priority. We’ve listened to the resounding research that shows happier teams are those with the best work-life balance. Introducing a Free Friday every week will give our team a chance to rest, reset and enjoy time with their loved ones.

Boost ‌productivity and creativity

Giving our team the freedom to rethink where, when, and how they work will enormously impact productivity and creativity. We want our team to have the freedom and flexibility to do their best work, and we believe this can happen just as effectively Monday -Thursday.

Learning along the way

We are not embarking on this 6-month trial blind. We’ve done the research and are aware of the potential challenges ahead. We have a strategy going into this journey and have made adjustments as a team over recent weeks to position ourselves for success. Sure, we don’t have all the answers. And we don’t have a crystal ball to predict how successful this trial will be. But we are determined to try and make it work together.

This transition to a 4-day workweek is not a top-down directive; it’s a totally collaborative process, including input from the entire TOTEM team. We are committed as a collective to each doing our part to make it work. Yes, that may mean pivoting or reassessing halfway through the process, but we are ready and excited to see how we will make it work together and the benefits it can give in return.

Leading the future of work

Over the next six months, we expect to gain valuable insight into how we can work smarter and more effectively as a team and with our global partners. As early adopters, we also hope to inspire others to do the same – we’re keen to share our learning and insights about the process throughout the next six months.

Interested in following our 4-Day Week journey? We’ll be sharing regular progress updates across our social channels.