Bryden Wood measures value, not time for a happier workforce

Bryden Wood Technology has introduced a nine-day fortnight (9DF) as company policy following a 10-month trial.

The company of technologists, designers, architects, engineers and analysts, said it is “breaking the mould” in its sector which has a “culture of long days and burn out”.

Under the 9DF trial, every other Friday the company closed the office, to see if a healthier culture could be created. Results over the trial period have shown no loss in productivity and a much happier, healthier workforce.

The 9DF is different to the recent UK trial of a four-day-week, which has also reported positive outcomes.

A happier, healthier workforce benefits the company

Martin Wood, co-founder of Bryden Wood said: “It’s about what we do and the quality of our work, not the exact amount of time we do it for.

“We didn’t want our people to simply work longer hours each day and are supporting each other to work more effectively during our working days.

“We might consider a four-day week in the future, but would need the rest of the industry to catch up first.”

Happier employees benefit business

Wood added: “We believe that the company is only as good as our people. The 9DF offers the ability for our people to expand their interests and be more thoughtful, imaginative, and productive.

“If we’re improved by the 9DF as individuals, then so is Bryden Wood.”

The idea was discussed internally to check feasibility, discuss challenges, and put plans in place to support people to take the ‘free fridays’.

Some key processes were streamlined and unnecessary meetings cut. Flexible working options work alongside the 9DF including hybrid working, flexible working hours to fit around family commitments, and the ability to move between its 10 international offices.

Is 9DF replicable across the industry?

Asked whether the 9DF was replicable across the industry, Wood said: “The 9DF would only work if the industry shifts to incentivising value-add, not just time spent (i.e. moves away from the traditional consultancy model, where ‘time’ is chargeable).

“Our whole design-to-value ethos is to find the best and most efficient solutions for clients, using innovation to find elegant solutions and challenge the status quo.

“So yes, this could be replicable, but the industry would have to prize outcomes over hours, which is something we encourage clients to do.”

Time off between busy periods

He added: “Maybe other companies could allocate some time off in the ‘troughs’ between the ‘peaks’ of project activity for companies that are more ‘project based’.

“But we are developing cross-sector IP and solutions, so our people move between sectors quite freely, taking best practice with them. As such, a 9DF works better with our pattern of work.”

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