A Huddersfield firm that employs 80 people has become one of the first firms in the region to launch a four-day working week for all its staff – and they’re recruiting.
Accu – a tech-based component supplier based in Honley – has now entered a period of staff consultation on the four-day week, which will then be rolled out in April. It has plans to take on a further 40 staff by the end of the year. Roles will span engineering, software development, marketing, customer service and operations.
In a permanent, non-reversible move, Accu’s project-based teams will be asked to either take Monday or Friday off, ensuring there are three days during the week where all employees are in for collaborative work. Customer facing teams will work on a weekly rota, providing an improved level of service to clients. Staff salaries will not be affected, and the weekly contracted hours are being reduced to 34.
With high growth plans, Accu is on the recruitment trail to support its ambitions to become the world’s ‘go-to’ supplier of components for engineers.
Martin Ackroyd, commercial director, and co-founder of Accu, said that being based in a village, on the outskirts of a town, sometimes posed challenges for recruitment – as they were competing with tech firms in Leeds and Manchester for talent.
He said: “Increasing our salary offers wasn’t necessarily the right solution, we have found it’s often not the main motivator when it comes to recruiting great people. So, we decided to think creatively”, Martin said. “Studies have shown that people can be just as productive in four days as they are in five, whilst improving their work-life balance.
“We understand that our company is the sum of our people. Staff retention and recruitment are two of the most important factors in achieving our growth targets. We wanted to do something different, to reward our team for all their hard work, but also attract more incredible people to join our talented team.
“There will be no reduction in salary, and we will advertise new roles at the same salary that we’d have advertised prior to the four-day week. Of course, as a tech business, all areas of our business are benchmarked by KPIs, so we will be able to measure its effectiveness, but this is not a trial, and we will not reverse the decision – as the upheaval would negatively impact people’s lives.”
Accu initially introduced the four-day week for IT staff, and it was so well received that they decided to roll it out company wide. Co-founders Martin and Antony Kitson have also worked a four-day week for two years.
He added: “Antony and I have already experienced the four-day week, and it has worked well for us. We’re more productive and engaged with the bHe business as a result – it’s hard to imagine a life without it now. We will document our journey, so we will effectively become a case study for any other businesses that are hoping to do the same.”