Everyone at Vulcan Post Malaysia has been largely WFH for over a year (with a brief return to office from June to October 2020), and is now the norm for many other staffed companies that can operate remotely.
Commission Factory, an affiliate marketing network based in Australia, is one of these companies. But apart from encouraging distance working, they have also been piloting a 4-day work week since December 2020 at their Malaysian office.
According to them, they have seen a 200% increase in revenue in the first quarter of 2021 since this new work culture was introduced, along with reports of a happier workforce.
The 4-day work week is nothing new, with reports from a few companies around the world picking it up around 2019 after Microsoft Japan announced I would be practicing it. However, so far we have not seen much of this trend in Malaysia.
So how does Commission Factory do it, and is it replicable by other Malaysian companies?
1. It is not a compressed schedule
One of the drawbacks that usually arise when mentioning a 4-day work week is that 5 work days are compressed into just 4 days.
This could lead to overwork of employees. To avoid this, Emily, marketing director at Commission Factory, told Vulcan Post that her 4-day work week means 28 hours of work for 4 days (instead of 35 hours of work with the same duration).
But doesn’t that mean less work is done in general? Well, maybe not, because, on average, it has been proven that employees can lose 1 to 3 hours in an eight-hour workday (without lunch and rest). Therefore, it is possible that the work can be done in less time by cutting back on those extra hours and wasted.
2. Staff can choose their own day off
“We don’t fix the days, but we do rotate the days the staff is free between the different teams, as most want a free Monday or Friday. We have a press to make sure everyone gets a Friday or Monday vacation,” he said. said Emily.
He added: “All assigned days are closed by team leaders and updated in our team planning to provide visibility, and we have a system of friends when a person is out because one of the other members of the team can cover them during their day. ”
The leave structure at Commission Factory also remains the same, as if employees were working 5 days a week. At the same time, Commission Factory made sure to stress to employees that this step would not mean a pay cut.
3. Give employees the right tools
To facilitate its new work culture, Commission Factory uses project management tools such as Asana and Microsoft Planner to assign jobs and increase transparency and visibility, a move that also became commonplace with the remote work culture and WFH.
At the same time, the team created an in-house knowledge center that included Zoom recordings of meetings so employees could see and catch up with them and constantly find more resources to help them.
4. Maintain timely and streamlined communication
At Commission Factory, teams don’t just deal with a 4-day workweek. The company has equipment in 15 countries, so time zones are another challenge to consider.
Emily gave an example of how they handle this. “To make it easier within the advertiser team, for example, we use Microsoft Shifts, this allows team members to know who is there each day and allows the team member to copy to another member to cover a particular activity or task. “
“This is probably the hardest part, to make sure the tasks are completed by others when a person is out of a client. We are testing equipment and Asana to overcome it and, whenever possible, automate company-wide processes. ”
5. Elimination of inefficiencies in tasks
Because teams don’t do five days of work in a week, they needed to find ways to use the time they had more efficiently.
By offering solutions, they streamlined their ticketing system for their product team, reduced meeting times from 1 hour to 30 minutes as a standard rule, and avoided double handling of tasks.
Emily explained that the latter meant that one person would represent each team present at a meeting rather than the entire team being there.
6. Inform customers of the new work culture
For companies that serve customers, it may seem difficult to implement anything other than the standard work culture of 9-5, 5 days a week. Not to mention, some customers can be picky, even on a company’s rest days.
Emily said Commission Factory made its change clear to its customers, while reassuring them. “We informed our customers with a video from our CEO explaining that this did not mean a reduction in service, as well as regular recoveries and scheduled meetings that were held directly with customers.”
To maintain the quality of service, Commission Factory teams had to structure themselves and improve their service by improving internal collaboration.
So far, this strategy has worked well, as Emily said some of her own clients have even come to the team directly to seek support to introduce similar initiatives themselves.
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Of course, employees can be happier and 4-day workweeks are generally promoted to improve employee productivity and efficiency, but appropriate measures are needed.
For your sales team, Commission Factory measures how many meeting requests are sent to contacts, how many sales meetings and presentations are being provided by the team, and most importantly, how many sales and how much revenue is they are delivering and more.
Emily shared that, looking back at these metrics after introducing the 4-day workweek, they have seen that targets for all regions have more than doubled over the Year, despite the reduction in the working day.
From what I can see, while this change in work culture is significant, it’s not as daunting as it sounds. Some Malaysian companies may not be able to achieve this with the same strategies, but trial and error may provide more appropriate solutions. After all, Commission Factory recognizes that these are also the first days for them and that there will always be improvements to be made.
Will we see more companies practicing 4-day workweeks? It may not be on the rise, but with a large part of the active population already accustomed to remote work and the FMH, we may see that this concept will end up growing for us.
- You can find more information about Commission Factory here.
- You can read more articles related to the job here.
Featured Image Credit: Commission Factory