Cut to gain

Meeting changes and a four day week lead to better productivity

Published on 
2 min, 292 words

Categories: work book

In 2018, Andrew Barnes' company, Perpetual Guardians, permanently introduced a four day week (FDW). The staff would get 100% pay but work 80% of the time as long as they hit 100% of their productivity goals.

This is covered in the book Time Wise. It forced everyone to consider how they spent their time as they had less of it to achieve the same amount. The biggest impact seems to be around meetings. The results were impressive.

Barnes’ rules around meetings and respecting people’s time were echoed in Japan when Microsoft introduced a FDW trial. They had three rules. First, you had to use Microsoft Teams for meetings. Second, no meeting could be longer than half an hour. Third, no more than five people could be invited to a meeting. Productivity went up by 39.9 per cent based on these three rules alone. I suspect happiness skyrocketed, too

We currently have all our meetings remote, as the team is scattered around Europe - although we use Google Meet and Spatial Chat rather than Teams.

A lot of our meetings are less than thirty minutes however I don't think this would be possible for some of the more technical discussions as there tends to be a lot of ground to cover and thinking time is needed.

We have a fairly small team (soon to be 9 people) so our meetings don't tend to be too crowded however there are meetings, such as the team stand up and the retrospective, that require everyone to be there. Outside that we do tend to be very selective on who attends which meetings.


Time Wise

Spatial Chat

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