At the beginning of this year, we decided to throw caution to the wind and try something a bit different: Wednesdays in the office are now considered “no meeting” days in our office. The thought process here is three-fold:
It allows our team to work remotely
Sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders. An afternoon spent working at a coffee shop or working from a home office can help boost productivity, creativity, and overall job satisfaction. A scenery change can be a great midweek pick-me-up and a way to mentally prepare for the rest of the week.
Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean we take it easy on Wednesdays (we still work a standard 8-hour workday and regularly communicate through Slack), but it does allow us to have a more flexible schedule to accommodate things like doctors appointments if needed.
It allows for a full production day, without interruption.
One of my favorite outlooks on the workweek is Michael Hyatt’s concept of front stage and backstage activities. Front stage activities are the portions of your job that are client-facing, like meetings and email communication, while backstage activities are the portions of your job that are mostly invisible to your clients. At Evangalist, this is usually creative production work, internal creative reviews, and project management that goes into every single job we work on.
Personally, I find that the more I can segment my front stage activities from my backstage activities, the more I feel in control of my schedule. It’s hard to feel productive when developing a website in 2-hour chunks between meetings, so blocking off Wednesdays allows me to sit down and really get into “code mode.” I end the day feeling productive and usually have a lot to show for my day spent 100% focused on my production work.
It reflects our values.
We never set out to be the agency where you feel chained to your desk. Flexibility is incredibly important to every single person on our team. In fact, Michael Hyatt’s “stage” concept has a third component: offstage. Activities that fall under the offstage segment are all of the things you do when you’re not working. These activities are the ones that should help rejuvenate the mind and bring balance to your overall working schedule. Placing a priority on our offstage time to reset & re-energize is something that has been in Evangalist’s DNA from the beginning. It’s time that we try to keep sacred, even when we may find ourselves in the weeds with a heavy workload. Offering a bit of flexibility in the middle of the week gives us the opportunity to take offstage time if we truly need it.
So, we’re one month into 2020, which means we’ve had four weeks of “no meeting Wednesdays”. How has it worked out for our team? Pretty well, actually. We all appreciate the flexibility it brings us. We’re going to continue to experiment with our workweek and see where it takes us from here. As long as we’re creating great work and having fun doing it, I certainly have no complaints!