Dec 19, 2022 - News

Twin Cities PR firm extends four-day workweek pilot

Illustration of four to-go coffees that read Mon, Tues, Wed, and Thurs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A prominent Twin Cities public relations firm is extending its four(ish)-day workweek pilot after a four-month trial produced positive effects.

The big picture: Companies across the globe are experimenting with shorter, more flexible schedules in light of employee burnout concerns and a tight labor market.

  • The approach remains relatively rare — including in the Twin Cities — but has gained steam since the pandemic.

Zoom in: Minnetonka-based Media Minefield rolled out its own spin on the idea in August, encouraging its roughly 50 employees to fit their work into the equivalent of four days.

What happened: The company surveyed employees after the trial period. Ninety-eight percent said the change had a positive impact on their lives, Media Minefield founder and CEO Kristi Piehl told Axios.

  • Piehl reported "zero pushback from clients." Revenue didn't take a hit and, while Piehl said she couldn't make a direct connection between the two, the firm secured notable contracts during the same period.

What they're saying: "We are seeing people across the board working less," Piehl said of what she's calling the "four-day mindset" approach. "And the output is the same, and I would argue better."

Yes, but: While no employees formally opted out of the pilot, the flex schedule wasn't for everyone. Piehl estimated that about 5% of employees struggled with managing their time or feeling comfortable signing off during the regular workweek. Some preferred to keep working five days, which the firm allows.

  • The firm has yet to see an impact on recruitment and retention, though leaders will continue to watch those metrics moving forward.

What's next: Piehl said the flexible work policy will be extended into the new year. The firm is also reducing the number of required days in the office from two to one, after finding that employees were able to produce the same results working from home more often.

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