Walking the talk with Future Tonic – Four Day Week
Individual and collective aspirations keep the world of work constantly evolving. Staying ahead of the curve and ensuring an increasingly bespoke and human-centered approach to how products are experienced is essential for those companies that really want to stand out.
In goes without saying that the demand for truly valuable engagement is the holy grail regardless of sector, product or culture. Strategic innovation is at the forefront of these developments, with standout agencies such as Future Tonic driving a new approach to design and progressive methods to maintain success.
With over 30 years of collective experience consulting organisations and providing training on how to improve product engagement, Future Tonic is very much ahead of the game. As innovators for both large and small companies, they also provide recommendations on flexible working where this could be beneficial to productivity.
Flexible working for create innovation
Future Tonic walks the talk when it comes to its own flexible working practices. Company Co-founders Heather McQuaid and Maeve Keane explained that a four day working week was something that they were not only keen to promote, but also to implement internally.
“Part of our business involves keeping an eye on trends in the workplace and helping our clients visualise what the future of work might look like for them. We saw the concept of a four day week a while ago, and were interested in trying it ourselves, so that we could understand the pros and cons.”
Whist providing innovation training and consultancy to their impressive list of clients, the Future Tonic experience of a flexible working schedule has also enabled the team to provide better advice to their clients.
“We’re more productive and energised, and also able to tell our clients that we walk the talk. If we’re recommending flexible working practices to them, then we can speak from experience.”
When asked about the direct benefits of a four day week, the human-centered approach promoted by Future Tonic appears to be a perfect fit for their own creativity too.
Heather and Maeve confirm that this has resulted in “higher productivity, and the ability to have a better work-life integration such as spending time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, going to events, exhibits, talks, etc.
Also, because being creative is key to what we do, having time to explore other interests, make unusual connections, and get some rest, really helps with enhancing our creativity.”
Email blackouts and the complete switch-off
There are, however, some logistical challenges which require a bit of advance planning in order to ensure that an additional day off each week does not negatively affect the way the business operates. With only a small number of staff, the decision to cover days off or simply share the same routine depends very much on the need for collaboration.
“Figuring out whether we all take the same day off or not. We’re a small agency, so it’s not like we have a lot people who can cover for us, on the other hand, we highly value the time that we (as the co-founders and directors) have together, so we decided to take the same day off, giving us 4 full days to discuss, collaborate, etc. But, some of our team work on our day off, so we’re still figuring out how best to coordinate with them.
Also, we’ve not instituted an email blackout; we still check our emails on our day off, in case our clients or our team has something urgent that we need to address. So, we’re still figuring out how we might be able to switch off completely.”
The Future Tonic experience of a four day working week appears to have been overwhelmingly positive. Their advice for those companies also looking to implement a progressive work model is to “find out what other similar companies are doing to get some ideas. Then try something and see if it works. Adapt as needed, try again.”