A new kind of work week

Updated On: November 19, 2019

Today, we’re chopping a full day off of the work week. We’re also talking customer segmentation and the power of being bootstrapped. 



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The four-day work week

Microsoft dropped news that they tried the ever-coveted yet ultra elusive “four-day work week.” And apparently, productivity soared.

Which inevitably got our ProfitWell crew talking. Because who wouldn’t want to work less to see more?

The shorter work week was tested in Japan, giving workers in Tokyo every Friday off this past August. The company gave special paid leave to workers to account for their fifth day, but also subsidized expenses employees incurred for volunteering, taking classes, or enjoying family trips. 

The result: productivity rose 40%.

Apparently employees packed more efficiency into their 32-hour weeks by conducting more remote conference calls, while also printing far less material at the office—a big cost saver for the Microsoft team. Overall, data showed "employees are seeking diversified work styles," Microsoft officials said in a statement. Which I am totally on board with. 

I’m skeptical, though. Losing an entire day of work feels like it’d set me back in accomplishing my OKRs and quarterly goals. I truly wonder what motivates a CEO to hop on board with experimenting here. Does it depend on industry? Business model? How long the experiment runs? It feels like a tough sell.

And, sure, we know business practices that work in one country may not necessarily be effective somewhere else. Japanese workers in particular, are noted for their heads down work ethic. Yet some companies—in the U.S. and abroad—are giving four-day weeks a try.

A June 2019 report from the Society for Human Resource Management said 15% of more than 2,700 American companies and organizations surveyed, now offer a four-day work week option to employees, up from 12% in 2017. And while they’re still uncommon, organizations that have implemented them report no decreases to productivity or revenue as a result.

Andrew Barnes, a key figure in experimentation of the four-day work week, reminds us that "At the heart of this is productivity and, if we can get enhanced productivity from something that delivers work-life balance, it's a win-win-win," he said, citing employers, workers, and their families as winners. "All the evidence suggests that productivity will either hold steady or go up."

I may be skeptical, but I'm sure willing to test it out. 

CEOs, what are your thoughts here? PC, what about you...?


Being bootstrapped

These next two are thanks to Dan Martell, whose Twitter feed is jam packed with articles and resources we binge on the regular.

First, Product Hunt radio drops a podcast episode with host Abadesi, talking to Marcus Taylor, founder of Venture Harbour, a digital product company based in the UK. 

They’ve launched nine companies in the last few years, growing them to millions in revenue. 

In it, they touch on some unconventional views Marcus holds—how he thinks about personal development, and letting the customer be your investor. Since we’re a big fan of bootstrappers, and customers rule everything around us, we’re all ears on this one. 

“I started Venture Harbour with 500 quid in my bank and a broken laptop. We’ve never raised any money for any of the ventures. I find so many friends in the startup world spend so much time messing around with cap tables and pitch decks and high-fiving each other when they raise money. I believe so strongly that if you had spent that time listening to the customers and letting your customers be your investors, you'd be in a far better position." 


The power of customer segmentation

And in other resources, Intercom drops a “who’s who” on customer segmentation. 

Because they know that at some inflection point of growth, it becomes impossible to intuitively know your customers, let alone decide which ones to focus on. In it, they break down the roots of customer segmentation, because they understand the weight of the tool. 

For a growing business, segmentation is necessary to know your customers and your market, and share this understanding across teams. 

Beyond a certain size, it’s impossible to do without. So the article also goes deep on how to segment customers by aligning on problems and principles, creating the actual customer segments, driving internal adoption, and segmenting by needs and value. 

For the full resource, we’ll send a link in your subscriber newsletter. And if you’re digging the idea of segmentation, check out ProfitWell Segment, a tool we offer to give you a single source of truth for your financial metrics for free. Here’s a bit more on that.


Escape Velocity

Has your pricing gone stale?

In this episode of Dan Martell's Escape Velocity pod, he and Patrick talk price elasticity, the market's willingness to pay, and how to raise your pricing effectively.

And that’s a wrap for your November 19 subscription news. Recruit your teammates into the subscription know: recurnow.com to sign up for episodes on the daily.

If you have news to share, hit me up at abby@recurnow.com and we'll collaborate.

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