A COMPANY says it has kept productivity high despite giving its 27 staff the chance to work a four-day week.

The Poole-based marketing agency Intergage introduced flexible working to allow three and four-day weekends.

It says the policy strengthened staff retention and is “proof positive that the practice is not just for major corporates”.

Intergage managing director Paul Tansey said: “We’re a medium-sized firm with 27 employees – some of whom work in teams comprising just a handful of people.

“Members of these small teams liaise among themselves to make flexible working happen without affecting contract delivery – they don’t need to rely on other Intergagers to help them out.

“It proves that you don’t need to be a large or medium-sized company to make flexible working a success. It’s an option for small firms too.”

Intergage staff used to work 37.5 hours a week in five 7.5-hour days, but now they can work four nine-hours days totalling 36 hours. They can take Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays as “flexi days”

Intergage says many businesses fear flexible working could hit productivity and the ability to meet deadlines – but that this has not been an issue.

Going “flexi” meant completing projects to the same deadlines, but with greater say over how to make it happen.

Intergage digital marketing manager Nicky Williams said: “Flexible working has made such a difference to my life and my wellbeing.

“My fiancé works shifts; I have a young puppy and my family lives two hours away – so having an extra day each week to spend with them means the absolute world to me.”

The company recommends having an HR-approved policy on flexible working, with guidelines for everyone’s benefit.

Rules include:

  • all working hours and holiday hours must be logged
  • no flexi-days can be taken in a week containing a bank holiday
  • only 10 hours may be worked in any one day – and lunchbreaks must be a minimum 40 minutes
  • Tuesdays and Thursday are ‘sacred’ – no flexi-time reduction is permitted – ensuring that the whole team is available for key projects, meetings and other important events.