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Partner Days: The Answer to Hooky

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Every year for the past 4 summers we have instituted Partner Days.
It made sense to me to control those desires that come about when one wakes up and decides today is too beautiful to go to work.
What if we planned for hooky?
What if every other week half the staff had Fridays off?
How would the work get done?

We went with each person having a partner in case something came in and had to be done. It took a lot of persuasion with my own partners. They were skeptical. And rightly so. Our assets are our people. If they are not here, how do create great solutions and meet all the deadlines?

Well, it has been an amazing program. We don’t miss a beat. And the folks working at the office on partner Fridays say they get so much done! Our billings remain steady all summer and we have some very happy people. They can plan for short getaways and enjoy this wonderful time of year with family and friends. Or sleep in and get the list of errands run. When I have Fridays off I really feel like I had a weekend. That I turned things off and rested. Because it takes one day to wind down, one to relax and one to wind back up.

If it were up to me we would work a 4 day work week. And with gas prices at $4.00 per gallon, some companies are going to 4 10-hour days, cutting back the 5th day commute.
The challenge becomes having the right people here, on the right day, because we never know when a client will call and want to get together. And we’re responsive. And known for our ability to makes things happen quickly. Our service is superior.

Working from home one day per week is another option. Creating a floating day for each person to choose to work from home if they can. Most of our creative staff have systems at home with the same software. Media and Account Service have laptops and internet access to the systems they use daily. Teleconferencing is so easy and GreenYour.com reports from The Business Travel Coalition that, “73 percent of companies have increased the use of video conferencing and other teleconferencing methods.” It takes a small amount of money to set this up and most say it is as if the person is actually there in the room. And with GoToMeeting, everyone can see the same presentation and you can even record the meeting to save and review later or share with interested parties. We use this tool with clients out of town or traveling.

I used to think we all had to be on-premise between the hours of 8:30 and 5:00 to be productive. And through the years I have discovered I get more done when I work from home and during the hours that I choose. My most creative moments are very early in the morning when I am up and all is quiet. I am sure it is different for everyone. The “night owls” would probably start work at 7pm. Who cares when? If our creative product remains on target, meets the criteria and gets results. Something to consider as we digitally evolve.

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