· 81% surveyed at Synergy Vision feel ‘very positive’ about the 4DWW versus 56% in their pilot
· 91% say 4DWW is an important reason to stay at the company
· 19% volunteer or do community work with their additional free time
LONDON, 21 FEBRUARY 2023 – Survey results released today by medical communications agency, Synergy Vision (SV), show that 81% of employee-owners (staff) feel ‘very positive’ about their company’s four-day work week (4DWW) compared to 56% who gave the same answer at the end of an initial six-month pilot in 2019. Results also show that 19% spend time volunteering on their non-working days, an increase from 0% when SV piloted the scheme. This contrasts with a general decrease in volunteering rates over recent years in the UK.1
Award-winning, employee-owned SV is releasing its latest survey data as UK results are announced from the world’s biggest trial of the 4DWW, carried out over the past six months by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week Campaign, and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University, and Boston College. Similar pilot programmes have been completed, or are ongoing, in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Now 4DWW experts, SV implemented the working pattern four years ago, after a six-month pilot and a tracking survey showed employee-owners to be happier, less anxious, and more productive. The latest survey of SV employee-owners, clients, and recruiters in January 2023 has found continuing positive views of the 4DWW for work-life balance, client satisfaction, and appeal for potential new recruits to the company.
Ffyona Dawber, CEO of SV, comments: “We were certain that pioneering a 4DWW would bring long-term benefits and are thrilled that surveys of employee-owners, clients, and recruiters confirm SV has done the right thing. We work with clients who demand scientific rigour in the programmes we deliver, so it is especially satisfying to add to the evidence base for the success of the 4DWW, alongside the results of the 4 Day Week Global UK pilot programme.
“Naturally, there have been challenges and learnings along the way, but we have demonstrated that the 4DWW can deliver as well as a five-day work week from a business perspective. Importantly, 83% of employee-owners feel that the systems and processes in place for the 4DWW at SV currently work well, giving our people an extra day of flexibility for making the most of their non-work time.
“In a time of workplace flux, marked by headlines about phenomena such as ‘the great resignation’, ‘quiet quitting’, and ‘rage applying’, SV has also found that the 4DWW is an attractive proposition for retaining and recruiting its people. We saw 91% of employee-owners confirming that the 4DWW is an important factor in their decision to stay at Synergy Vision, with 67% of these respondents stating it was ‘very important’,” Dawber explains.
The SV survey also showed:
· No reduction in SV’s pharmaceutical industry client satisfaction, according to the annual client survey, since it was introduced in 2019. Further, end-of-2022 results show clients are as likely to keep working with SV and to recommend SV as they said they were in 2019.
· 100% of recruiters encountered no challenges in working with SV due to the 4DWW and noted that the working model is a “very unique selling point”, “a big draw for candidates”, and “truly demonstrates Synergy Vision’s values and their dedication to being such a people-focused agency”.
At SV, employee-owners work 34 hours over four days for the same salary and holiday allowance as a five-day, 40-hour week. Individuals usually have the same day off weekly, facilitating workload planning and communication. In the survey, 90% of SV employee-owners felt that the combination of the 4DWW and a hybrid, flexible-working model did not impact their positive view of the 4DWW.
Individuals have reported taking up a range of activities from volunteering, to participating in MasterChef, to trying to become a DJ, to travelling to 'rogue' European destinations for long weekends.
Karine Henderson, Managing Director of SV, says: “We are delighted that we have focused, happy employee-owners. In order to innovate and push the envelope for our clients, it’s important that we bring well-rounded perspectives and experiences to the table. The 4DWW gives our employee-owners that opportunity to refresh, reset, and re-approach work in a new way each week. The results of the feedback across stakeholders really demonstrates that SV is delivering the difference.”
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1. GOV.UK. Volunteering and charitable giving – community life survey 2020/21. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-life-survey-202021-volunteering-and-charitable-giving/volunteering-and-charitable-giving-community-life-survey-202021. Last accessed February 2023.
About Synergy Vision
Now in its 15th year, SV has 60 employee-owners (staff) across offices in London, Dublin, and Sydney and provides strategic communications support and medical education programmes for clients across Europe, North and South America, and the Asia-Pacific region.
SV has a people-focused ethos, promoting diversity in the workplace, a positive work-life balance, and excellence in delivering for clients, all of which are bolstered by initiatives such as its four-day work week (4DWW), the move to employee ownership in 2021, a bespoke development scheme for industry first-timers, and its programme to catapult mid-level managers to senior positions.
Multiple accolades, going back to 2010, recognize individuals and the company. These most recently include the Investors in People platinum accreditation, placing SV in the top 2% of UK companies and No. 1 in the medical communications sector.