14 Mar 2022

RAiN joins the four-day workweek movement

MSI's Johannesburg accounting member RAiN has recently implemented a 4 day workweek as part of their business optimization strategy. Although a unique and novel concept in the South African context, RAiN joins a growing list of progressively-minded companies and countries across the globe who have implemented or are in the process of trialing the 4 day workweek initiative.

Passion for people

This announcement from RAiN is not only an expression of confidence in the outstanding work ethic of its staff but demonstrates a genuine commitment to healthy work/life balance and employee wellbeing.  RAiN has always considered its people to be its greatest asset and, once again, their actions speak louder than words.

Passion for performance

The 4 day work week concept may be hugely attractive and beneficial to employees, but work/life balance is not the only balancing act that RAiN’s directors had to consider.  When a business has worked hard over the years to build a reputation of integrity, trust, service excellence and uncompromising work quality, there is no room for productivity decline.  RAiN has therefore adopted a 100-80-100 approach which means 100% pay, 80% of the time for 100% of the productivity.  Basically, the 4 day workweek program is designed to support a broader optimization program centered on working smarter rather than longer.

But does it actually work?

Productivity RAiN has embraced the concept of measuring performance based on results rather than hours worked.  The 4 day workweek has been proven to deliver increased productivity in businesses all over the world across a broad range of industries.  When Microsoft Japan switched to a 3 day weekend, the company experienced productivity gains of 40%.  The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 60% of organizations that utilize a 4 day workweek also experienced higher productivity and increased employee satisfaction. Wellbeing RAiN is committed to improving the work-life balance of its employees and to deliver transformational benefits to their daily lives.  Improving physical and mental health as well as reducing levels of burnout, stress, sick leave, and absenteeism is a priority for the RAiN team.  The 4 day workweek has shown to result in happier employees, with higher levels of job satisfaction and brand loyalty as evidenced by the Perpetual Guardian trial in New Zealand where work-life balance metrics rose by 44 percent, empowerment by 26 percent and work stimulation by 27 percent.  Analysis of the results found that a reduction of working hours improved wellbeing and work-life balance amongst workers.

Happy staff.  Happy clients

The reduction of work hours, coupled with an unrelenting focus on results, is expected to further enhance RAiN’s reputation as a great place to work and a business partner that delivers beyond expectation to its staff and clients. The response from the staff at RAiN has been so positive.  This is what they have to say: “The 4-day work week announcement came as a surprise, but my team and I accepted the challenge.  After doing research, it was evident that it all came down to time management – something that we would have to improve if we were to make this work.  Since then, we have made some changes and implemented some practical guidelines regarding time management. This 4-day work week has boosted our team’s morale – yes, sometimes we work longer hours in a day, but the flexibility and less stress on a Friday more than makes up for it.  The most precious testimony on the impact of this was when one of my team members described the look on her child’s face when she appeared at his school to pick him up – something she never got to do in the past. We have time for ourselves and the option to be flexible.  This is working for us, and we are determined to keep making it work.” “When I first told my trainee accountant peers about the innovative move RAiN made to incorporate a 4-day work week , they were astounded and some did not even believe me . I didn’t blame them. Who would believe that an auditing firm would make such a bold move. I have come to realise that the accounting community is quite small and word of mouth travels quite fast. I first realised this when I would receive messages from my fellow trainee accountant peers on Fridays telling me how jealous they are that I have a 4-day work week and that they would do anything for a similar privilege. I would receive these type of messages and comments from not only those that I’ve told but also others that have heard it through the grapevine. I have a friend that works at a silicon-valley type company who is all about new-age workplaces but even he too could not believe that RAiN has made the bold move to incorporate the 4 -day work week as it has never yet been heard of in the South African working environment.”

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