Why We’re Piloting A 4-Day Work Week

DNSFilter prides itself on being an innovative company. This is reflected in our product, but also in the way we run our business. We have been fully remote since our inception, have championed innovative benefits like continuing education and home office build-outs, and we practice virtually total transparency with our internal team. We believe this investment in our culture has been a key to our success, but it requires constant evaluation to ensure we’re providing the best environment for our employees to succeed.

That’s why when Iceland ran a 4-day work week trial, we decided to follow suit. 

So what is a 4-day work week? 

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Employees work 32 hours a week, instead of the traditional 40, while keeping their same rate of pay and full benefits. We at DNSFilter have taken a slightly different twist, where two groups rotate between taking each Friday off. This allows us to maintain full customer support and incident response coverage, while giving everybody at least two 3-day-weekends per month.

A lot of business owners have an immediate gut reaction to the idea of reducing hours -  “This couldn’t work for my company because we’d lose too much revenue.” But ask instead what it means for your employees’ mental health and productivity, and what impact that might have on your business. 

Paul White, a psychologist specializing in workplace culture, says “The research is clear that companies that take care of their employees . . . are more profitable than companies that don’t do that. From an investor point of view, you want to invest in a company that takes care of those things versus [ones that] don’t,” he said. “When people feel valued and appreciated . . . there’s less turnover, there’s better customer service ratings, better productivity and profitability, so it helps the organization to function better.” source.

Don’t take our word for it, here are a bunch of companies that have already implemented some form of a shorter work week, and are seeing positive results. These positive results include:

One of the benefits that has been specific to our implementation is that the folks that are working on a Friday have indicated that they get a lot more done without the distraction of meetings or Slack messages. This can be especially useful for doing a deep dive into code, working with data and metrics, or catching up on emails. This is likely due to achieving a flow state. More on that here

However, It does beg the question, why did DNSFilter specifically decide to move in this direction in the first place? Well, the purpose for us was three-fold: 

  1. To reduce employee stress and burnout 
  2. To further improve work-life balance 
  3. To increase employee engagement

This pilot also lends well to talent acquisition and retention. When competing against larger companies we have a unique edge - what candidate doesn’t want every other Friday off? For some this can even trump a higher salary or larger company name. Top candidates have already expressed that this benefit has been a deciding factor when choosing DNSFilter.

Internally, we’ve already seen an increase in productivity, an increase in mental health (due to better work life balance), and heard nothing but positive feedback from employees.

So what’s next?

Our plan is to complete the pilot through September, and review all metrics and KPIs to ensure we still meet our key objectives. That being said, at this time, all indicators point to this being a more permanent benefit of DNSFilter. For open positions and other benefits check out our career page!

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