Bringing improved work-life balance with a Nine Day Fortnight (9DF)
"Our 9DF has quickly become the cornerstone of ensuring a healthy work-life balance for me; an extra day where I can take care of loose ends and items that might otherwise find their way into my weekends or evenings. It's massively helped in redefining the boundaries that have become blurred for a lot of people through home-based working, and I see it as nothing less than the single biggest CPS job perk to date – a real taste of adjustment in the modern workplace!”
Ben Donaldson, Head of Practice, UC & Infrastructure
Why move to a 9DF?
Quite simply because the way and place of work has shifted dramatically. Hybrid working has been a natural pattern for all at CPS for quite some years. Since the pandemic, however, we witnessed colleagues were choosing not to use their commuting time as downtime. Instead, they were getting to their virtual office early. Using their time for internal projects or client work, often not removing themselves from their screen until well past the end of the working day.
That didn’t sit well with our CEO and Leadership Team and as a people-first organisation, seeing the shift in working pattern, whilst admirable, meant that our colleagues were at risk of burnout, loss of creativity and productivity.
“The 9DF has been a much-welcomed addition to my life! I now use the 10th day to travel to long-distance friends and family, it totally removes the stress of squeezing in a trip over the typical two-day weekend. The trains are quieter on a Friday too! I recently took a trip to the Peak District for a day's hiking all without consuming valuable annual leave!”
Ethan Chalmers, MWP Infrastructure Consultant
Let the trial begin!
At the start of March 2022, CPS colleagues trialled working with a 9DF. Our 9DF is in essence compressing 10 working days over 9 days, affording the colleague the 10th day as a day off.
For full-time colleagues, this means an additional 26 extra days off a year!
"The 9DF has improved my work-life balance in so many ways. As a father of twins, and a man with far too many hobbies to fit into a weekend, the 10th allows me to unwind. It gives me time to spend with my wife, spend time with my friends and spend many hours playing golf, mountain biking or just getting some jobs done around the house. As the kids are in school, this, in turn, frees up the weekend for quality family time"
Sam Graber, Practice Director, Work Management
Great for employees – what about clients?
The 9DF working pattern has meant that we can drive more innovation and engagement with clients. Having the time to reflect and reassess has been core to that approach. Colleagues at CPS always want to go above and beyond no matter if they are working on an internal project with team members or client work. Sounds cheesy, however, this is the reality; we all want to make the exceptional happen and to do that you need clarity of thought prior to the execution of ideas.
Our Support Desk team are still available to clients 5 days a week or as contracted, with the department split into a Team A and Team B with Team B taking the following Friday as their 10th day.
“There are so many benefits of a 9DF for me, it’s hard to list them all. I’m a full-time working Mum with two daughters of Primary and Secondary school age. My 10th day allows me, to be frank, to do things for me! I get a guilt-free day where I can get my hair done, meet up with friends for coffee or go for an extra-long trail run, all before the actual weekend has started!”
Lauren Flaxton, Head of Client Engagement & Communications
With appropriate time and work management, we’re able to deliver the outcomes to our clients within the compressed hours, however we recognise that unforeseen issues can arise.
Colleagues will always be flexible to client needs and when unplanned and exceptional circumstances present themselves, we will of course respond to ensure that our clients receive the service and support they need.
"The 9DF has enhanced my working life. It's great being able to feel productive and work towards a long weekend every other week and gives me the opportunity to take some time out which helps me avoid feeling burnt out. For example, I've been making use of my fridays off to visit friends and family and explore more of my local area and beyond! I think I'd struggle to go back to the normal 5 day working weeks and work as well as I do now."
Nathan Mak, MWM Consultant, Professional Services
And we’re off….
During the trial, employee sentiment was anonymously reviewed through our Employee Engagement survey – Glint. Colleagues were clearly welcoming the enhanced work-life balance and how the Leadership Team were appreciating the effort being placed on work.
The trial was a resounding success and the whole company voted unanimously for it to be instated as the norm come the 1st of June 2022.
If you would like to know more about life at CPS, look at our Vacancies Page.
Some more words from our colleagues:
"The 9DF to me just feels like a breath of fresh air. It is the opportunity to feel like my weekends are productive and used to their full potential. I’ve been able to action home renovations, go see friends, and family and also play with my ultimate frisbee team more often. It feels like the 9DF is a day which I can use to invest in myself, so that by the time Monday swings around, I’m in a great state of mind to throw myself back into my work!"
Jess Jeffery, HR Assistant
"I want to give a truly heart thanks to the leadership team for allowing this and all those who have helped make it happen. As a father of three that works full time and over commits with MVP work and Scout volunteering, this is the first day I can remember in years that I have truly felt free to do what I want. Can feel my head clearing already."
Kevin McDonnell, Head of Practice – Modern Workplace
The 9DF has changed my work routine for the better! At times it can feel like the weekend flies by and I don’t get much time to rest, so having a longer weekend every other week makes such a difference. I feel more motivated and focused for the upcoming work week.
Outside of work, I love to go away at the weekends and I’ve often found myself travelling to a different location on my Friday off. Recently I’ve been away to Budapest, Devon and the Peak District for long weekends, and having the Friday off work meant I had more time to explore each place. The 9DF really has been a great addition to CPS!
Aisling Guerzoni, PMO Analyst
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