Half-day Fridays have arrived at Growth Kitchen

The weekend just got that little bit longer here at Growth Kitchen which will see the team working only half a day on Fridays from now until the end of August (woot!). This will mean that as of 1 pm this Friday, the team will be shutting down their laptops for their first extended weekend, taking advantage of the time off to travel, see friends, hit the gym or the pub, simply unwind or spend more time with family.

Tom, Growth Kitchen co-founder tells us why unplugging in the summer months for half-day or “Summer Fridays” aims to not only amp up the summer vibe but also benefit the company in the long run.

Why did you decide to roll out half-day Fridays?

TG: We’re just about to head into our mid-year sprint that will see us chasing down some very ambitious goals, getting creative, driving innovation and going the extra mile while we continue to think big together as a team. We need to be aware that there’s always a danger that when we are all so single-minded on growth, we don’t allow ourselves enough time to step away, reflect, relax and renew and separate home from work life.

We need everyone at their best and no one is their best without a healthy work-life balance. The summer is a great time to introduce a new routine, the days are longer, the weather is better, and people enjoy more time outdoors or travelling, and we feel like this extra time for fun and self-care will only benefit our work culture.

What is the existing work culture like?

TG: We are lucky enough to have a growing diverse team of people bound together by their desire to support and help each other in order to get the best-case scenario out of any situation. We work very closely with each other to meet our objectives and we hold ourselves to high standards. But it’s our actions that come from those beliefs that create the habits that will inform our success.

We hold a monthly event called ‘Chef Patron’ where we nominate each other against our core virtues and we make it mandatory for people to nominate someone for each virtue. This exercise gives a moment for pause and reflection on how we are all living our virtues so that not only do we have the opportunity to show gratitude for one another, but the virtues become second nature in everything we do. This builds an environment of trust and we know that success is not measured by the number of hours we spend staring at our laptops, but by our ability to work on the right things together as a team.

What impact do you think the extra half-day off will have on the team?

TG: I think the extra half-day will give the team the space to plan their weekends more intentionally so that they maximise their personal time, in the same way they do their working week — making it something to really look forward to. We have very rigorous hiring processes and trust that the team will continue to deliver their very best work throughout the week. It will allow people to do whatever they need to do around the home, while not eating up the entire weekend, and room to prioritise self-care, relaxation, maybe taking up a new hobby and having fun so that they are fresh and clear-headed come Monday morning ready to go after our objectives with full energy levels.

How will we know if it was successful?

TG: The results will be in whether or not we are all able to meet our goals as a company and how manageable the team find the new schedule. I think we’ll find the main key to our productivity will be our ability to prioritise tasks. When you have shorter weeks, you tend to be more focused, evaluating whether or not a task is going to move the needle or not or if something else will have more of an impact. It will build further trust in our employees to do their work as and when they see fit.

If we can all do this effectively individually and as a team, I think that change in mindset will have a positive impact much more far-reaching than the summer.