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This Company Gave Employees Fridays Off Paid, What Happened Next Is Amazing

This Company Gave Employees Fridays Off Paid, What Happened Next Is Amazing
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It isn’t the first time the idea of free Fridays has been around. Gone are the days of offices that only consist of grey walls and instant coffee. The competition is rising, as is the psychology behind keeping good employees happy enough to stay at their jobs. Some offices even go as far as offering team games, gym classes, and ping pong.

If one goes as far as questioning the work-pleasure balance, psychologically the Monday to Friday nine-to-five is out of balance at best. According to the article “We Gave Our Employees Fridays Off Paid and Now We Have an Amazing Team,” if we had just one more day to do the things we enjoy doing, the benefits would be outstanding

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So, what exactly are the benefits of having Fridays off work? And what did this company consider when making the decision for their employees? Better yet, what happened as a result of giving the employees a three-day weekend?

So What Did The Company Do?

These days, it seems as if balancing work and life outside work is more difficult than it has ever been. Employees expect more as companies deliver more, and there is little evidence to support the idea that ping pong tables motivate employees and make for better business. However, an extra day just might.

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The company gave their employees every other Friday off, paid, naming it the “18-Day Work Month” with the understanding that it was a truly productive way to motivate their employees. The psychology behind the idea is that people perform at their peak when they aren’t confined to the drudgery of set work hours every single week, day in, day out. Instead, they use the four days they are at work more productively, they focus more intently, and then they spend their three-day weekend having a true break and coming back fresh and focused on Monday morning. The employees are more driven because they are feel like they are being taken care of, that as human beings, they matter. This, of course, leads to happier employees.

How Is This Beneficial?

The obvious fear for companies when they look at this front on is that there are less work hours being applied to the job at hand. However, when approached strategically, they were smart enough to understand that figures may better add up with a more humanist approach. In other words, understanding that by taking care of good staff, your staff will in turn take care of you.

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Seems simple, right? When you look at the bigger picture, you can see that this system works. For example, if you are searching for employees who are professional, productive, and get things right the first time around, you’ll be searching for people who are intermediate or a ways into their careers. These people are usually more settled and a little further along in their lives, as opposed to the general beginner. They will value their free time with their life outside of work. They will be highly attracted to the four-day week and it will encourage them to shoot for the stars and do their very best for this kind of role. This, in turn, will cut your costs on recruitment and training.

It Makes Sense!

If we are wanting to employ the best, we need to treat them like the best and offer things beyond what they might expect. By promoting a unique balance on a very human level, we understand people and respect them as they are — incredible business people who are great at their jobs, but also family people, or people who have built lives outside of the workplace. Acknowledging this benefits everybody. The employees will feel in control and happy. Perhaps this is something for everyone to think about!

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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