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Maidstone digital agency becomes first Kent company to adopt four-day working week

A digital agency in Maidstone will become the first firm in Kent to create a four-day working week.

Starting next month, Reflect Digital's team will begin to enjoy three day weekends, dropping work on either a Friday or a Monday.

Their salaries however, will remain the same.

Reflect Digital chief executive Becky Simms
Reflect Digital chief executive Becky Simms

Founder and CEO Becky Simms said: "We've been doing a lot of research these last few months, looking at how we can improve employee wellbeing.

"We work in such a high pressured industry, every member of our team deals with deadline after deadline.

"Considering our employee's mental health, we thought 'what can we do to reduce stress in such a high pressured environment?'"

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jo James
Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jo James

The digital marketing agency, which counts Tottenham Hotspur amongst its clients, looked into flexible time and even unlimited holiday, but settled on cutting the working week.

Losing a day means staff will have to factor their lost hours into the rest of the week.

However holiday allowance will remain the same.

Two months ago the company received word London digital agency The Lab had introduced a four-day working week.

It followed stories from as far as New Zealand of four-day week trials bringing greater productivity and staff satisfaction.

Staff at Reflect Digital were told of their new working week on Tuesday.

Mrs Simms said: "There are so many benefits, I genuinely believe this change will mean we'll be able to produce even better work.

"After a Bank Holiday everyone comes in and they're buzzing from that extra day off, if we can get that every single week it should be amazing.

"The way we've worked it is that team members will split between having Monday or Friday's off, so there's always someone covering a team.

"We're going to review it in December, but there's no absolute no intention of retreating from it.

"We've gone through a lot of research and we can't see anyway it won't work."

Chief executive of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Jo James, said: "Unemployment levels in Kent are very low, it's a candidate driven market and employers and finding it difficult to employ new, good people.

"Businesses are having to look at how they can create a happy workforce to sustain their employees and that differs from sector to sector.

"I couldn't run a four day week at the chamber, we do all or sorts of services for companies that are open seven days a week, but I can understand why the creative and digital industries are at the forefront of this."

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