real cost of friday afternoons off

At one stage, Friday was known as deals day. Now it’s a morning of half-hearted sales activity followed by an early finish.

As far as I’m concerned, adding efficiencies and building automation into the front of pipelines hasn’t driven productivity – it’s caused it to stagnate. People are doing the same amount of work in less time, as opposed to using the time they’ve gained to gained to accelerate performance.

If you keep automating duties with rec tech and reward the individual, it’ll only serve to reduce the amount of effort employees are putting in. There’s almost no impact on the age-old £10k-12k average per person per month.

Madness – but it’s easy to see how business leaders fall into these traps. The ‘work-life balance’ excuse has distorted our understanding of business sense vs lazy leadership.

Want to truly get staff onside? Become a better leader…

Don’t cruise

If you’re doing so well that you can afford an afternoon of no business, then you’re at threat of capitulating to laziness. The world can change at any minute, and if you don’t have a tight grip on your work ethic, all that hard work can be easily undone.

I’m not adverse to an afternoon off based purely on exceptional effort over the week – but it shouldn’t be the norm. Technology is no alternative to hard work.

The pursuit of this so-called work-life balance burns through money. I understand why those without the ability to grow a meaningful business will rely on such a narrative, but the cost of an early finish at the expense of culture remains the same.

Vary your approach

I have to admit, I do kinda love these moves to condense the working week – where businesses have nailed their processes so well that they can cover five days’ work in four.

But I’m not convinced all these companies are genuinely capable of doing that. I personally believe there’s just an epidemic of recruitment leaders who secretly want an easy life.

If you know your organisation is filled with hard-working employees, change your approach so that they enjoy what they do (even on a Friday afternoon). Successful people lovebeing at work. That’s the real work-life balance.

Incorporate tech the right way

Embracing new software motivates employees in recruitment just like it would in any other industry. Provided it truly helps them in their careers, you may find yourself changing their lives – and getting rid of their longing for an afternoon off once and for all.

Technology that automates certain procedures or dramatically reduces the amount of admin they perform can help your staff bill £20k monthly on average. It should not rid them of opportunities to earn.

Embed each tool you employ with an internal process. Teach staff how to use it (don’t make it ‘an option’) and leave no room for a lacklustre alternative. Ensure they know the benefit of every rec tech investment you make – that way, you’re not paying for every brand-spanking-new piece of kit on the market.

Ultimately, provided you stay energised and sustain a clear vision, people will want to be a part of your story. Using ‘employee benefits’ in place of creating a great working environment is cheap and your staff will soon sniff you out.