Candidate for CCIFS Grand Prix 2023 ''CSR'': Mikroelektronika

During this year's Green Gala evening, which will take place on April 27th, we will organize the traditional Grand Prix CCIFS awards ceremony

"At Mikroelektronika, production has been down for four days now, and it has been over eight months since they first transitioned to a four-day workweek. They were the first department in the company to make the switch, while engineers continued to work five days

Two years ago, when the CEO decided to implement a four-day workweek, production was chosen as the first department because it is the most challenging of all the departments. You simply don't have three hands, only two. Can productivity be increased by working faster with our hands? The answer is no! Productivity doesn't increase by working faster with our hands, but rather by using our minds, making better decisions, organizing, and changing the mindset of every member of the group who wants to work four days."

"How to start the whole process ?

Every company has multiple departments and it is best to start gradually, with one department at a time, or at least those that are closely related. We started modestly: 30 minutes shorter for several months, then a little shorter for a few more months... eventually, we worked for six hours a day for eight months, and when that became routine, we decided to work four days a week for eight hours and have several Fridays off. It all went well, and after five consecutive Fridays off, we adopted it as our new work schedule. The whole process took a little less than two years, to be precise, around 20 months. Perhaps it took so long because we were doing something where few managers had experience, or perhaps we were being cautious because we know how important this topic is to our employees and we didn't want to disappoint them with failure. Now we are working with other departments and it seems that it will go faster."

What does the law say about a four-day workweek?

Some might think that there is a shortcut to achieving this goal, but there isn't! What certainly exists is the law that clearly regulates labor relations. This means that there can be no reduction of annual leave, extension of working hours, or avoidance of public holidays. Simply put, the law must be obeyed! Anything you want for your employees that is better than what the law prescribes will not be prevented by anyone.

How to sell something if the buyer doesn't know what it is?

What do employees think about a four-day workweek? Probably not much! They are confused, unsure what to think, and typically expect the worst. This is the narrative of the relationship between companies and employees in our society. But why is this not strange? Realistically, they don't know what a four-day workweek is, they have never tried it, and they don't know the true value of it! What if they have to work like crazy those four days - will that Friday be enough of a reward? Who guarantees them a free Friday? What if they try hard, but their efforts are not rewarded? There are many questions that will run through your employees' minds. They need to be understood because they have never experienced it before. Neither have you, to be honest, as a four-day workweek is still a rarity in the world.

Our experience shows that it took about six months for our production to finally adopt a free Friday as the new reality. A few weeks ago, we had a party at the company, and a colleague from production said a sentence that says it all: "You can make us work whatever you want those four days, just don't touch Friday." That says it all about how important it is to them now that they live a much better quality of life.

Does a shorter work week mean that pay must be increased?

When transitioning to a four-day work week, you must increase the pay for employees. This may sound illogical, but it is actually quite logical. On the fifth day, you were at work and not spending money, but now you might be traveling, having a morning coffee with friends, or shopping, and therefore need more money. This is an important part of the entire plan.

How can you increase pay in a company? The quickest answer is through productivity. Now it's clear where the pay increase comes from - increased productivity, of course. Employees need to be more productive in four days than in five. It's now up to them to organize themselves and contribute to the overall plan. Management can help a little here because it's not about major steps and changes. We're entering a world of minutes and good decisions about whether we should or shouldn't do something, whether that topic is right for us or not. The effects will be seen gradually because nothing happens overnight in this story.

Unity as the condition of all conditions.

Although management (the first person in the company must make this a personal project) is the one who initiates the transition to a four-day workweek, it is the employees' unity that makes it possible. If even one team member is not interested in this process, the whole thing falls apart. Imagine a complex mechanism of gears and someone who puts a pencil between two gears - the entire mechanism stops! Again, I come back to the duration of the whole process, it takes time for everyone to adjust: the company, management, and employees all need to contribute.

What if we have to go back to 5 working days?

Forget about that option! There is no turning back. Once this way of life and work is established in the company, we can never go back to the old ways without causing deep dissatisfaction among employees and management. I don't know where this idea comes from that management is averse to days off. If we are all unhappy, it can never be good for the company! My deep belief is that no salary increase can compensate for the quality of life that a free Friday provides.

Another life - a better society as the goal of all our activities!

We love marketing in our company and pay attention to messages that speak more than just events. We named this project 'Another life'. We have a life where we engage in operational activities, solve daily challenges, work, and create, and another where we travel, rest, enjoy, and don't think about work. We cannot live longer than a human lifespan, but we can live a more fulfilling life, be more rested, positive. A better society is what we all need, and it is achieved through well-rested individuals who are fulfilled and have space for personal growth or simply for enjoying life.




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