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ECT Leads the Way in the Four-Day Workweek on Telecoms


• ECT launches a disruptive four-day workweek strategy to incentivize productivity and promote a healthier work-life balance.
• Salaries, vacation days and company perks remain the same for all employees.
• To make up for the 20% reduction in working time, ECT is increasing its workforce 20%.
• The shortened workweek will be made permanent in 2023 if positive results are achieved.
• ECT expects that this new 32-hour workweek will help it attract and keep top talent.

Munich, June 20th, 2022 For many companies, a key question today is \”How should we change the way we work after mandatory work-from-home arrangements end?\” That includes European Computer Telecoms AG (ECT), a provider of Telecoms Low Code and agile co-development that is dedicated to better business outcomes for CSPs and their customers. ECT wanted to find a way to transition back to on-site work after two years of almost uninterrupted at-home work, and ensure that employees were on board with the change. After an internal survey, the company decided to launch a four-day workweek starting in May.
The “Most-Wanted” Strategy
The shorter work week appears to have broad appeal. A recent CNN.com report noted that 80% of survey respondents supported a four-day workweek. A report from CNBC said that 92% of people supported the four-day workweek model and said \”it would improve their mental health and productivity.\” Belgian lawmakers recently approved a reform that, among other benefits, allows for a four-day workweek (albeit a 38-hour one). With COVID and home office and web meetings and so much happening so fast and so unexpectedly, employees everywhere are wishing for change.
Enter the Great Resignation. The pandemic changed peoples� perspective. They are resigning from their jobs because they are not satisfied with their wages, the tasks they are asked to do or their employer\-s remote-working policies.
Naturally, companies are trying to adapt to this new landscape: According to Fortune, \”[e]xecutives considered a shortened workweek the most-wanted recruitment and retention strategy by far when polled by Gartner Inc.\” But here comes the reality check: \”Only 6% of those same senior leaders said theyâ€?re doing it or even planning to at their organization.\” So, if executives deemed it such a huge retention strategy, why are they not implementing it? Because they fear \”a loss of productivity.\”
\”Disruptive\” is a word that can help sell products, and it is often bandied about in company press announcements. But how many businesspeople are really disruptive when it comes to changing their company? Real leadership sometimes means being the first to do something truly innovative.
With that in mind, we at ECT\-s headquarters in Munich are piloting a four-day workweek until the at least the end of the year. Our weekly workload has been reduced from 40 hours to just 32, Mondays to Thursdays, and we are maintaining our existing salaries as well as 30 days\- vacation (six more than the legal obligation here in Germany). We believe that this will help improve our work-life balance and quality of life. We expect that being happier will also increase our productivity.
Disruptive Solutions for Disruptive Times
What\-s the reasoning behind this decision? It was not an easy call. Before going forward with the project, ECT discussed the four-day workweek with leading analysts from Gartner, as well as with the Munich Board of Trade (IHK). Everyone had a different take on this move: Our non-executive board, our executives, our department directors, and our many team members.
One core thread stood out in these discussions. \”A company is only as good as its employees,\” says Marshall Kavesh, ECTâ€?s CEO. \”The difference between an average programmer and a great programmer is not twofold; it is twentyfold. It is always difficult to attract and keep great talent, and a four-day week can be very appealing. Work is not just about money; most people value free time more.\”
Of course, we needed to consider what a four-day workweek meant for our customers. So, for the duration of the pilot, sales and service subsidiaries in England, The Netherlands, and the USA will continue working and being available to customers on Fridays. Nevertheless, if the pilot is a success, the measure will be implemented permanently and most probably extended (perhaps with some adaptations) to our subsidiaries.
We also know that this is not about squeezing five days of work into four days. As part of our 32-hour workweek, we implemented periods of “deep work”. During deep work, we deactivate all notifications and focus without interruption on the tasks at hand. Meetings, emails, phone calls and all other synchronous tasks take place outside those deep-work hours. At the same time, we keep meetings short and productive: They typically include only small groups and start with a written document that explains the topic to be discussed during the meeting so that everybody is prepared by the time the face-to-face conversation starts.
On the other hand, we also make room for “deep rest time”. During deep rest, we take periodic long breaks. These might include a table tennis game, a walk around the city, coffee with friends or reading a book. They can be a 30-minute break or a two-hour long pause. Then we start anew with our deep work. This allows us to stay focused and productive.
To make up for the 20% less working time that results from the four-day workweek, we have added more than 20% in new positions. We have already signed 21 new colleagues in the first five months of the year, and we have 14 open positions now. We find that our unique value proposition is attracting top talent from around the world.
Ultimately, we are all looking forward to having longer weekends while being more productive in our reduced working time as we work to help our customers.

Posted by on 21. June 2022. Filed under Picture Gallery, Telecommunication. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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