In 2021, we started Half-Day Fridays as a perk offered to all employees, beginning the very first week they join the team.
We sell service, and service is provided by people. Therefore, our people really are our greatest asset – a notion that we readily acknowledge and embrace – and one that guides our actions.
This notion stems from two of our core values:
- Our team is made up of experts, not simply technicians.
- We care for each other – our clients, our partners, our team.
While our remote team dealt with the repercussions of a global pandemic, we began considering ways to give everyone some extra time to rest and recharge. Some of us were juggling meetings with kiddoes jumping all over us, while others were dealing with the isolation of spending days on end without human interaction. As knowledge workers, we found ourselves in a position of immense privilege – but still struggling to put together the pieces of this newfound reality. What started as a monthly half-day Friday quickly rolled into a weekly half-day.
Because our team is more than just technicians, they can be trusted to be good stewards of their projects. They know if a couple extra hours are required to meet a deadline, and understand when a high-priority task can’t wait until next week. Similarly, they know how to communicate with a client who is putting in a new feature request on Thursday evening, manage expectations, and then hit the ground running on Monday.
This perk works in tandem with our general philosophy around “office hours”. Some people prefer working in the morning, others find they are most efficient in the later afternoon. Working at Pact is unique in that you are allowed to define your own schedule (within reason), so long as the work being completed is high quality and everyone continues to check-in with their team.
Our normal working hours are Monday to Thursday from 10:00 – 5:30 to ensure everyone is available for meetings and collaborative working sessions. This often means that Friday mornings become deep-work time for our team, where everyone has an opportunity to put their head down without disruption and leave for the weekend feeling like all their loose ends have been tied up.
Given the remote nature of Pact, some folks may time shift their schedule accordingly, acknowledging that each team and client has its own internal rhythm. This system of flexibility– with the foundational goal of finding overlaps with other team members –means that everyone feels like an integral part of the team, not an auxiliary island floating on the periphery.
Since implementing the policy, we have seen increased levels of productivity and project engagement. When people feel like more than a number or a time-sheet, they tend to stick around – which means we have low levels of turnover and high rates of employee satisfaction. From an employer’s perspective, it’s really the least we can do to give back to the team that gives so much of themselves each and every day.
When possible and safe, we will be working out ways to meet in person. For now, we are giving back half a day each week to our teammates as a way of saying, “Take care of you.”