Cimpress, a global mass customization company, has rolled out an initiative called Recharge Fridays for some of its business units. This also makes its work week 4.5 days long instead of 5 days. It gives employees a half day off every Friday. This is in addition to their regular paid time off (PTOs). The company’s aim is to give employees an opportunity to look after their well-being and encourage work-life harmony. Using this time, employees can spend their time doing whatever they want to recharge their batteries.
Also, there is no mandate on how anyone’s day should look like i.e. saying these are the exact 4-5 hours that anyone should be working. They could either take the second half off or split their hours during the day. The cherry on top, Friday is a no-meeting day that helps employees plan their day in a better manner, as per their convenience. However, the recharge Friday is not yet applicable to all business units, given the vastness of our business structure and requirements.
“We consider ourselves a progressive organization that’s ahead of the curve when it comes to employee policies. We were one of the first companies to announce that all our employees would work remotely indefinitely,” said Ameya Sane, HR Director at Cimpress India. “We believe, employees are more productive and engaged when they can devote time and attention to activities that bring them joy. Giving an extra half day off will help our employees get some much-deserved recharge time to pursue what they love and grow.”
He further adds, “It’s initiatives like these that have kept our attrition at less than half of the industry standard. We believe that this move will become a benchmark for Corporate India’s future ways of working.” Cimpress maintained its low attrition rate even during the Great Resignation of last year, where employees across the world quit the workforce to seek better pay, greater flexibility and newer challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Experiments with a shorter work week have started happening globally and Cimpress is an example of the same. Research indicates employees report lower symptoms of stress and an improved sense of well-being. Productivity of employees remains the same even with fewer work hours, or actually improves due to better mental clarity. Shorter work weeks enable employees to feel less distracted – they tend to spend lesser time taking breaks, which improves efficiency. A shorter work week also results in less absenteeism.
The initiative by Cimpress cements its position as an employee-friendly workplace that is ahead of its times and is committed to promoting the culture of well-being. The company also has several other initiatives such as wellness allowance, remote work allowance and employee resource groups that foster employee wellbeing, gender and LGBT diversity as well as racial equity, respectively.
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