Freedom Services Group, a privately-owned insurance organisation comprising of a group of award-winning motor-based insurance businesses, has today announced it is rolling out a 4-day work week scheme, leading the way as one of the first insurance groups to do so.
The pilot will see Freedom offer its 190 employees the opportunity to move to a 4-day week. For full-time employees this means reducing to 34 hours over 4 days which equates to 8.5 hours from Monday to Thursday. Part-time employees will have the opportunity to reduce their hours by the equivalent pro-rata amount.
The scheme is offered on a voluntary basis and employees are given the choice of opting in or out every quarter. 75% of employees have opted in for the scheme so far.
In January 2022, Freedom’s Employee Engagement survey revealed a desire for more flexible working models that allowed a better work-life balance. In response, a group made up of seven employees were brought together to examine the feasibility of a 4-day week. Together, they made recommendations which were used to develop a blueprint for the scheme to ensure a smooth transition into the 4-day working week from the 1st of July.
Chantel Emilius, Executive Director of Culture and Engagement at Freedom Services Group comments: “Implementing the 4-day week is part of an overall strategy to increase levels of engagement and performance across the Group and is aligned with our core values. We believe that this initiative will prove beneficial to our employees’ happiness and wellbeing which in turn will have an equally positive impact on business productivity, customer experience, and recruitment and retention strategies.”
The 4-day week pilot has been promoted at interview stage as an incentive for Freedom’s recent recruitment campaigns which has seen 24 new starters join since April 2022.
To ensure the longevity of the scheme, the 4-day week will see incremental changes through Freedom’s operation to assist the adoption across the whole organisation as well as measure the impacts of the reduced hours. This includes individual development plans with measurable objectives for employees complemented by the implementation of workplace management and engagement tools such as SageHR and Reward Gateway.
Chantel explains: “Implementation of a 4-day working week doesn’t happen overnight. In order to do this initiative correctly, we needed to ensure that not only do we have the buy-in of our staff at every level but we also had the operational processes and tools that support the transition.”