Boosting productivity and employee wellbeing
“The implementation of a nine-day fortnight work model has proven to be a game-changer in terms of flexibility,” according to Kath Nell, chief people officer and HR leader at Crowe Australasia. The firm’s decision to fully adopt this flexible work arrangement for all employees has yielded remarkable results, fostering increased engagement levels among team members and enhancing overall well-being.
Nell expresses her lack of surprise at the popularity of the model, describing it as an attractive and compelling offer for the workforce. Moreover, clients of Crowe, the audit arm and subsidiary of Findex, have also endorsed the new compressed working week (CWW) after witnessing the benefits it offers to auditors. They are now eager to learn more about the logistics and its potential implementation in their businesses.
The nine-day fortnight involves employees working 100% of their contracted time at full productivity but compressed into slightly longer days, totaling just over nine working days instead of the usual ten. The initiative stemmed from an employee survey that revealed 85% of Findex’s workforce, which comprises over 3000 employees, expressed interest in this new work model.
The idea was initially put forward by a couple of motivated executives looking to maintain flexible work arrangements post-pandemic and differentiate Findex in the competitive market, especially when acquiring audit talent was challenging due to travel restrictions.
Following a successful trial period with 340 employees, conducted during the firm’s busiest time of year to thoroughly test its feasibility, the new model was fully implemented across the organization. Skepticism from some quarters about how it could work and what clients might think was quickly dispelled as clients reported a seamless transition with no compromise in service.
From an HR perspective, the transition has been smooth, largely due to strong leadership driving the change and a highly consultative process. Encouraged by the pilot’s success, the program is now being expanded for a trial in Findex’s wealth division.
One of the most gratifying outcomes of the new model was the feedback from a senior partner who reported a positive transformation in her personal life. Having an extra day every fortnight to focus on other aspects outside work had improved her relationship with family and reignited her passion for her job, creating a more engaged and invigorated approach to work.