UK-based landscape planning, ecology and arboriculture consultancy, Tyler Grange has become the first in their industry to sign up to the 4-day week pilot programme – beginning in June. More than 3,000 workers at 60 companies across the UK are taking part in the trial.
In association with 4-Day Week Global, UK think tank Autonomy and researchers at Cambridge University, Boston College and Oxford University, the pilot programme will initially run for six months and will see reduced hours but no loss of income for Tyler Grange’s employees.
Simon Ursell, managing director at Tyler Grange said: “Our discussions around this initiative began four years ago. Like many people in our industry – including our competitors and clients – we were pretty tired. Talks within the team were framed around how busy we were, and how much we needed to do, and a lack of time for actually living.”
“We know that mental health issues are rife in consultancy. It’s an industry which has too often been plagued by growing demands, diminishing timescales and increasing complexity. Mental and physical burnout is a real problem, and it can’t be glossed over anymore. It’s time to make a change.”
“The pilot programme made it clear that the time to act is now. We know the employee wellbeing benefits and we know that productivity can increase by up to 15%. We’ve been working incredibly hard on making this a reality for the last four years. So, what are we waiting for?”
For Tyler Grange, the time has come to lead from the front. And to help create a healthier future for their team (referred to as their Tribe), their clients and collaborators, and the environment.
“Ever since we started the business in 2010, it’s the Tyler Grange Tribe that makes us great”, continued Simon. “In the past, we had a few members of the team part ways with us, citing that they couldn’t keep the pace up and needed to change how they worked. We realised that being constantly ‘on’ wasn’t sustainable and it isn’t what we wanted for our business.”
“We want to do everything in our power to keep our Tribe healthy and happy; so that they can keep on living life to the fullest, find joy in their work and continue to provide our clients with phenomenal support.”
“Having an extra non-working day every week gives our team precious free time which they can use exactly as they see fit. We’re also excited by the benefits a 4-day working week may bring for the business and our clients. We expect to see reduced absences, and fundamentally, an increase in productivity. It also coincides with our journey towards becoming a B-Corp, for which we are hoping to achieve accreditation later in 2022.”
From June, each of Tyler Grange’s six UK offices will be closed on Fridays. Every member of the 80-strong team will have the opportunity to rest and recuperate after a busy week, take on any community or voluntary work, or further their training.
Trix Williams, office manager at Tyler Grange commented: “The 4-day week is one of the best things TG could have ever done. It’s going to make productivity higher and people happier. And it’s going to give everyone at TG time to do things they love. That’s what our company’s about, so I’m really happy about it.”
“The extra time will benefit me because I can put time into things that I really want to do on the weekend but that the time doesn’t allow. Things like yoga classes in the morning and extra cooking classes. We’ve actually been having a look at doing a sushi course. Now we have the flexibility to put time into things on a Friday when the weekend is always so hectic.”
So, will Tyler Grange become the first of many in their industry? Or will others view it simply as a flash-in-the-pan fad?
Simon commented: “Our industry is quite traditional, but we’ve already seen positive change from some of our other initiatives. Our team has a day off a month already to volunteer, do charity work or for personal development. Slowly we’ve seen other businesses in our industry do the same. Yes we may get some backlash from the old guard on this 4-day initiative, but we’re hoping it will be a snowball effect. We think others could and will follow. We’ll also be sharing our progress and learnings every week in the hope that others will be inspired to find a similar solution that works for them.”
The trial is part of the company’s commitment to B Corp certification, which is expected to be secured this year – a four-day working week by 2025 could reduce the UK’s annual carbon footprint by 127 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.