Date: Friday, May 20, 2022
From: Sheila Carpenter
Subject: Welcome to your four-day work week!
Whew—like most weeks here at Riize & Grynd, it’s been a wild one. So allow me to say, emphatically and for the VERY last time, Happy Friday!
Wait, what? Last time? Did you hear me right? Folks, you did. As we mentioned in last week’s all-hands, starting next week we’ll be rolling out a 12-week long pilot program to test out a brand new four-day work week! And if all goes well, we’ll be permanently transitioning to a four-day week at the end of this trial period.
If you’re reading this email and thinking, “Wait, I’m already feeling overwhelmed with my current workload. Won’t taking a whole day away just stress me out even more?” I want to be very clear: we would never make a major change like this without ensuring that it’s a net positive endeavour for everyone involved.
So without further ado, here are some immediate changes we’ll be introducing to diminish distractions, scale down stressors, and make sure we can all sail FOURTH into a future full of long weekends!
We’re drastically reducing each of your deliverables. No one can complete five days’ worth of output in a four-day stretch. That’s why each of your managers will be personally adjusting your expected output to fit into our new four-day framework. It also means that unless a customer emergency pops up, or your manager decides that you need to go above and beyond to hit your team’s OKRs this month, or Dan from Sales decides it’s time to go TurboModeTM again for reasons known only by him, your workload each week will be locked and untouchable—no surprises, no exceptions*
*except for the ones I just mentioned, in addition to any other ad-hoc anomalies that may pop up on a case-by-case basis.
From now on, we’re only holding meetings that are absolutely necessary. You heard me: No. Unnecessary. Meetings. To make this happen, we encourage each and every one of you to do a full calendar audit and delete anything that doesn’t need to be there.
If you’re not sure what constitutes a “necessary meeting”, think of it this way: anything that isn’t a weekly status update, a team check-in, a customer check-in, an onboarding call, a brainstorming session, a morning scrum, an afternoon scrum, an hourly standup, a skip-level, a company-mandated coffee meetup with someone outside of your team, or, of course, a yearly review, can go bye-bye. That calendar’s not looking so full now, is it?
We’re counting on your radically honest feedback to keep us honest. Look, we all know that even with the best intentions, initiatives like this can go awry. That’s why we’ll be sending out a weekly survey to give you the chance to tell us if any part of this experiment isn’t working for you, or is making your life harder.
As with every company survey we send out, your anonymity is guaranteed (you just have to enter your boss’s name, team name, and job title for data hygiene purposes). And unlike every other survey initiative we’ve undertaken, we promise your answers won’t fall into a proverbial black hole, never to be seen again. This time we WILL enact meaningful change on any problems you surface (and for what it’s worth, the now-infamous “DE&I derailment” was a long time ago and some of you would do well to try to put it out of your mind once and for all).
Remember, we’re making these changes for your benefit. Not because we’re trying to shoehorn a trend we’ve barely researched into an already sinkhole-laden business model, and certainly not because this is the last Hail Mary we’re hoping will stop the constant haemorrhaging of talent we’ve seen over the last two years as a result of most of you completely re-prioritizing your entire existential ethos.
As always, Riizers, If you have questions about any of this, my proverbial door is always open. Just don’t send me a Slack message on a Friday! ‘Cause I won’t be there to answer it (unless it’s during one of several check-ins I’ve scheduled into my off hours to make sure the wheels aren’t falling off this bus entirely).
Happy weekend, all!