Will a 4-day week become the norm in the IT channel? 5 recruiters have their say…

Marc Sumner, Charlotte Hallam, Louise Wright, Zoe Chatley and Tim Davey weigh in on the debate that's polarising the industry

Doug Woodburn
clock • 12 min read
Will a 4-day week become the norm in the IT channel? 5 recruiters have their say…

With the UK this week kicking off the world's biggest ever four-day week trial, the concept is polarising opinion in the channel.

While some resellers are already embracing a shortened week, other bosses in the sector (including Stone's Tim Westbrook, below) are convinced that cutting staff working hours by 20 per cent will lead to a commensurate fall in productivity.

So will the model cut it in our sector?

Who better to ask than five of the channel's leading recruitment bosses?

"I have reseller and vendor clients who are considering it"

Name: Zoe Chatley

Role: Managing director, The Channel Recruiter

The UK has just kicked off the world's biggest ever 4-day-week trial. Will the model catch on in the UK IT channel?

Yes, I think it already has, I have reseller and vendor clients who are considering it or already putting plans in place for either a four-day working week, or shorter hours and more flexibility.

Based on the conversations you're having with your vendor and partner clients, how many are seriously looking into a 4-day week, and how do the hiring bosses you talk to generally feel about it?

A lot are really open to it. There seems to be a shift in perspective, if they can get the same performance or more by shifting their working model to create a better work life for their employees it's a great benefit to them and their employees.

What are your personal views on the 4-day week model?

Having worked a four-day working week for the last five years (at my previous employer, before setting up my own business) I am a big advocate of this working model. It works. I became more productive, efficient and saw this reflected in my performance results. And I had colleagues achieve similar strong results. Now as a business leader, I have one colleague who works 3.5 days a week yet achieves the same as my full timer, if not more and I'm now considering shortening their week too.

Do you think the new workplace models that have emerged since Covid hit (for instance shorter hours and hybrid/more flexible working) will really stick in the long term?

100 per cent this will stick and is sticking. Bearing in mind we are two years since the pandemic hit, every single one of my clients still operates a hybrid working model. A lot of trust was earned over that two-year period. Employees proved that they didn't need to work in the office five days a week, and that actually they were far more effective working from home. A lot of people say there aren't as many distractions and they can get far more work done. Employers have immediately responded to this; it works and if it works do not change it. Going back to "the old way" will cause frustration. I have had candidates contact me who are looking to leave their current employer because they are making them go back to the office five days a week.

See following page for InfraView's Tim Davey's views on the four-day week

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