Telecom coder ECT pilots a new work programme
Munich-based software specialist European Computer Telecoms (ECT) has launched a four-day working week pilot scheme which it claims will raise the economy of effort enough to make us more productive in a shorter time. It’s a response to economic trends such as the ‘Great Resignation’ during which, said ECT’s sources, workers across Europe voluntarily resigned from their jobs en masse, beginning in early 2021. Covid and remote working persuaded the masses that there has to to be a better work life balance, according to ECT.
More pressure has been heaped on employers after Belgian lawmakers recently approved a reform that, among other benefits, allows for a four-day working week. The architect of this new employment scheme, ECT CEO Marshall Kavesh, insists that its gearing of a healthier work-life balance will pay dividends, despite the fact that salaries, holidays and company perks will remain the same for all employees. In order to make up for the 20% deficit in working time, ECT is increasing its workforce by 20%. The shortened workweek may be made permanent in 2023 if positive results are achieved. Kavesh told Mobile Europe that this new 32-hour working week will help it attract and keep top talent.
The logic of this strategy is that people will be less stressed by working shorter hours, making their time at work more enjoyable and fruitful. There is no danger that customers and partners will get frustrated by the absence of their key contact who is only in four days a week, said Kavesh. “Our wholly owned subsidiaries are responsible for sales and service [and they] are not yet participating in the four-day workweek. So customers and partners still have the same contacts available five days per week,” said Kavesh. When the subsidiaries also join the four-day workweek, a development which is planned for next year, half of the employees will have Mondays off and the other half Fridays, said Kavesh, “that way the office can remain open five days per week.”
Kavesh identified the meeting as a business process that could be improved. “We have strict rules limiting the number of participants and inviting only the real participants. If you want to have a real discussion with everyone paying attention and participating actively, you should not have more than 7 people in a meeting.,” said Kavesh. “Although we have reduced our weekly working time by only a fifth, we are reducing our time spent in meetings by more than half.”
Agendas must be modified if the new four day working week is to be practical, Kavesh said. All information and presentation should ideally be shared beforehand so participants can brief themselves in advance. “We are making everything that does not require discussion asynchronous and moving it out of meetings,” said Kavesh.