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East Anglia Future 50

Ipswich firm gives staff every other Friday off - on full pay

PUBLISHED: 10:13 04 July 2019

JMS Engineers have created a three-day weekend to give staff a better work-life balance Picture: Daniel Staines

JMS Engineers have created a three-day weekend to give staff a better work-life balance Picture: Daniel Staines

Archant

A three-day weekend is a treat most workers only get to enjoy on Bank Holidays or when they have booked a day off. But one Ipswich company has taken the unusual step of giving workers every other Friday off - in the hope it will boost productivity.

While fewer hours might on the face of it seem an unorthodox way to achieve more work, JMS Engineering hopes the extra 25 days off a year - on full pay - means employees will work harder when they on duty.

The idea to help staff feel more refreshed and ready to go was trialled at the start of 2019 and has since been given the full go ahead from the company's board, because of the positive response from both workers and customers.

Group managing director Daniel Staines said: "When the proposal was put forward to the board, it had unanimous approval.

"The staff at JMS work hard when they are here but we recognise that they need to be able to enjoy life outside work as well.

"We've seen a phenomenal increase in growth and turnover these last few years.

"That's thanks to the hard work of my team. Now I want to make sure they're getting the most out of their work/life balance.

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"A three-day weekend gives them a chance to properly wind down, enjoy the weekend and come back on the Monday refreshed. It is a benefit to everyone - including our clients."

The business in Waldringfield Road on the outskirts of Ipswich says the extra day off has not had an impact on the efficiency of the team.

Trials for four-day weeks have also taken place globally, with one recent study in New Zealand suggesting workers experience lower stress.

Data also shows there is an increase of 20% in productivity when working four days rather than five.

Mr Staines added: "We are bucking the trend.

"It has increased productivity because our people know that we value their time, and are prepared to reward them with more free time.

"They come to work rested, and ready to really give it their all. It's about working smarter, not harder.

"When we took over a new consultancy recently, the staff couldn't believe it when we told them our new policy.

"It's been very well received, and it's nice to know we're helping our staff avoid the stress and pressure that this industry is known for."

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