Rochester Business Embraces Four-Day Work Week for Employees

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to take a long, hard look at the way they do business. For one Rochester firm, back-to-work has turned into a longer weekend for employees.

Gavin Thomas and Lisa Kribs formed TGW Studio in 2012. Working in a wide-open space in an old downtown building, the social impact marketing firm has a reputation for doing business just a bit differently.

“We take a pretty non-traditional approach to everything we do,” said Thomas.

About a month ago, the duo implemented another non-traditional idea —  a four-day work week for employees.

“This box that we’ve all been put, in this 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, we’re allowed to break through,” said Kribs. “If productivity can be boosted by doing something like this, why wouldn’t we?”

Like many businesses, employees of the small Rochester firm worked from home following the COVID-related shutdown of the economy.

“In light of Coronavirus and everything that’s been going on, folks are learning — like it or not, people can actually get things done here, there, everywhere,” she said.

Starting about a month ago, the three-day weekend for employees began on Fridays. The four-day work week embraces the idea that a happy and refreshed employee will be more productive when they’re in the office.

“Having that extra day off is certainly to take care of themselves,” said Thomas. “But also to help take care of their families, to help serve their communities.”

Longer weekends and a better work-life balance also give small businesses like TGW a leg up in attracting and keeping workers. Things which, in the end, make business sense.

“Obviously that’s important to be able to keep the lights,” said Thomas. “Everything that we found on that side was hugely, dramatically beneficial from a productivity standpoint. But also, more importantly for us, it really is about taking care of our team and ourselves.”

At TGW, the daily hours, pay, and benefits all stay the same under a four-day work week. So do job expectations, under what these folks think could be the next big thing for business.

“Hopefully there will be other Rochester businesses that come out of the closet and embrace a four day work week with us,” said Kribs. “We want to be that example, and encourage folks to do to do the same thing.”

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