Back in June, the UK announced that it would be conducting a four day work week trial in which more than 70 companies were set to take part.. The trial means that those involved will be working reduced hours for full pay, but productivity levels are expected to remain high.
We have been looking into the four day work week through the eyes of staff from game development studio Hutch. We asked employees to discuss the trial and how it impacts upon them. In July we interviewed Charmaine Clavier-St John and we now follow up by interviewing Anna Yukhtenko, the senior games analyst at Hutch.
What were your first impressions when you heard about Hutch moving to a 4DWW?
I must say, I love a free FridayAnna Yukhtenko
It was really unexpected! As an analyst, I immediately started thinking about structuring my work and what I’d do on Fridays. Any change is always a shake-up, but Hutch made sure to do it right - we shared productivity tricks and made adjustments to our meeting schedules and plans. It felt good to agree to trial 4DWW together.
Can you tell us a little about your role, and what your day-to-day responsibilities and duties used to look like ahead of the shift to a four-day work week?
I am a Head of Analytics at Hutch. I guide the analytical strategy of the company, manage a team, deal with third-party relationships, lead the game analytics function across multiple games, and support the analytics community in the studio. The list goes on and on. And, I am still a lead analyst on 2 of our titles.
How did you feel that this would affect your workload or the way that data is collated and analysed for your role?
Moving to a 4DWW meant that I needed to make some adjustments to the way I manage time. At first, the task seemed hard - after all, I needed to make sure I managed to do my job well in a shorter time. But I started delegating more, optimising my schedule, keeping to-do lists even more diligently, and blocking time in my calendar for specific tasks. We’ve been able to make sure the job gets done and my team and I can have a free Friday.
What has the biggest challenge been so far, and how does that compare to any initial concerns?
The biggest challenge for me is the intensity of the four daysAnna Yukhtenko
The schedule can be quite tight during workdays, and it is at times hard to find a slot for an ad-hoc meeting. However, on the plus side, I’ve found out that some tasks that I thought would take me a long time, actually require much less time if approached tactically. I just have to start doing them in the time that I have available, and it's all worked out.
Have you found that there are any areas where the loss of a day in the office has affected your workload? Do you feel that the remote working practices brought in during COVID-19 prepared the team in some way for this change?
The workload remains the same, but we needed to introduce efficiency adjustments to our schedules and meetings. As for COVID, Hutch had practised remote working for 2 days a week even before COVID, so there has always been a high trust placed in the team. We all had to work from home during lockdown, and the business continued to be successful. I feel it strengthened our trust in each other even more, and we can see that we are making the most of the 4DWW. Not just from an efficiency point of view, but also making sure we are enjoying the perk of a three day weekend.
How has the team come together around any challenges during this first part of the adoption of the 4DWW?
I think another important part of making a 4DWW successful at the start is checking in on each other. We had regular catch-ups, gathered feedback, and had informal chats about how we felt about the new work schedule. We made sure that even with the busy schedule of a shorter week, we didn’t undermine the importance of casual discussions and socialising, which is very important to me.
Take a look at the rest of our coverage of the four day work week trial to find out more.