Selfie onboarding pioneer FacePhi is looking to experiment with a different kind of innovation, announcing that it plans to implement a four-day work week for staff in 2022.
It’s an idea that has slowly been gaining ground in recent years, with some studies suggesting that it offers more advantages than disadvantages. In 2019, Microsoft Japan reported a 40 percent increase in productivity after trialing a four-day work week in the summer. More recently, the CEO of the Financial Diet, a personal finance blog, said that this year that her company embraced the four-day work week earlier this year “and will never go back”, noting that it has resulted in happier workers and higher revenues.
In announcing its own plans for the schedule change, FacePhi noted the potential productivity gains. But the company placed a stronger emphasis on giving employees a better work-life balance and enabling them to spend more time with their families, saying that the goals were in line with its corporate values.
Keeping employees happy is widely thought to be a particularly important goal for innovative tech companies, which tend to require highly specialized talent drawn from a somewhat constrained pool of labor. In Silicon Valley, tech giants like Google and Facebook have invested heavily in comfortable office “campuses” that offer a variety of perks for staff.
For its part, FacePhi doubled its staff to 60 employees in 2020, and now has a team numbering over 170 individuals; and its recent designation by the Spanish government as a strategic company for the country means that FacePhi can now issue special visas to highly qualified hires from abroad.
The regional government of Valencia, meanwhile, is playing its own important role in pushing FacePhi to a four-day work week. The government announced an initiative earlier this year in which it will subsidize private companies that implement such a policy.
In a statement, FacePhi CEO Javier Mira noted that the flexible work arrangements implemented during the pandemic bode well for the four-day work week plan.
“The Covid-19 pandemic made us implement measures that are still in force, such as working from home, and the good results from this show that flexibility is not synonymous with lower performance, but rather that the trust placed in our employees has been reciprocated,” he said.
December 17, 2021 – by Alex Perala