How a six-hour working day has transformed our business
Toni Halonen, CEO of iGaming lead generation company, Good Game Ltd, on the tremendous benefits that can be unlocked by introducing a six-hour working day.
There has been a lot of debate about whether the standard 9-5 working hours that most organisations require staff to adhere to are fit for purpose.
With organisations doing more than ever before to provide employees with a happy and healthy work environment, the rigid structure of 9-5 sits awkwardly in this new era of flexibility.
Today, people want to be able to work on their own terms and to their own timetables.
Whether working remotely once per week or swapping a Monday for a Sunday, businesses are having to meet these demands as employees look to strike a better work/life balance.
It is something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about as co-founder and CEO of Good Game Ltd, a lead generation company specialising in the iGaming industry.
As the business grew and we needed to take on full-time staff, myself and my follow co-founders sat down to create a company culture that we ourselves would want to be a part of.
And much of our discussions centred around the working day and the hours that we would like to work if we were to be employed by an organisation such as ours.
This led us to introduce a six-hour day as soon as we took on our first employee in January 2016. Four years later we are still working to this model and have been able to reap tremendous benefits.
Below, I talk through some of the biggest upsides:
Our employees are happy and healthy:
Our employees have more time to themselves each day which ultimately benefits Good Game Ltd because they are happy, healthy and have time for self-improvement.
We allow our employees to choose when they want to start their six-hour working day (between 8am and 12noon) giving them ultimate flexibility.
Some of our staff are early risers and like to come in at 8am and leave at 2pm giving them the afternoon to have some downtime, pursue a hobby or even work on a side project.
Others are night owls and like to start their day later. For us, so long as the work gets done and to the highest possible standard, we don’t mind when it gets done.
In terms of allowing our employees to work on side hustles, this has also benefited Good Game Ltd as this often allows our staff to develop and learn skills that transfer to the work they do for us.
Motivation and productivity is high:
Given that our working day is two hours shorter than standard, we find that our employees are super-motivated when it comes to completing tasks.
That’s not to say that the quality of their work suffers – quite the opposite. Productivity at Good Game Ltd is high and our team are truly the best at what they do.
Just think about how much time staff actually waste each day – making cups of tea, chatting to colleagues, taking a break to read an online news site, etc.
While we certainly allow our team to take tea breaks and step away from their desks for a few minutes, most get into the zone and work efficiently and effectively.
Retention high, sick days low:
By helping our employees strike the best work/life balance our staff retention has been incredibly high – we have only lost one employee to another Maltese company in the past four years.
Others that have left have only done so because they wish to return to their hometowns – we are a Finnish company based in Malta.
Our retention rates come with plenty of upsides including a reduction in recruitment costs which can be significant, plus we can maintain the knowledge and experience we build into the company.
There is nothing worse than helping your team skill up and develop, only for them to take that know-how to a rival organisation.
In terms of sick days, we are significantly below average. We have 12 members of staff at Good Game Ltd and for 2019 total sick days amounted to just 5 for the whole team.
In comparison, the average number of sick days per person in the UK is 9.1.
There are some challenges:
There are plenty of upsides to six-hour workdays, but they do present some challenges, too.
Employees do have less time to do their work, so as an organisation you need to make sure you are as efficient as can be. You also need staff that are motivated and productive.
It can also be tricky bringing the entire team together for a meeting, with people starting at different times each day. That being said, there is always a window of time where everyone is present.
For us, these have been small hurdles that have been easy to clear and have allowed Good Game Ltd to grow and thrive despite having reduced working hours.
If your organisation is thinking about a six-hour day, I would highly recommend at least trialling less hours as it could prove to be just as beneficial for you and your company as it has for us and ours.