We started Super Source Me with a very intense couple of months. The book release and the workshops we scheduled kept us busy from October to December, when we decided to take a break. A very needed break, indeed! Our tired brains took a while to recover before we could reflect on our first months and plan for the new year.
Already, we know that what we did back in December really paid off. We were planning to hire a team and deciding in advance how we see the company culture was absolutely necessary. Since Karolina and I both had a rather unudual approach to organising work, we wanted to write it down somewhere, explain what we do to onboard people correctly.
Since then, we hired two trainers. Magda has been with us since February and Zosia just joined the team. We rely on every member of the team to actively participate in improving our team, so it’s quite likely that in a couple of months, we’ll have changed our approach to work again. But let’s start at the beginning…
It’s not just a 4-day work week
We both quite liked the idea of working smarter, not harder. In 2021 we definitely noticed our productivity increases when we’re well rested (no surprise there) and we made the decision to implement a 4-day work week.
That’s an easy decision to make when it was just the two of us. It’s much more of a challenge to hire someone new and explain exactly how we want this to work. It’s still not common so few specialists know what it actually entails. Some candidates asked us if we expect them to work 10 hours a day to make up for the additional day off.
On the other hand, a 4-day work week can present a challenge for a small company. Should we decide on a specific day off, or should everyone choose one themselves? We decided to go with the former and set our availability between Monday and Thurdsay. We rarely get asked to run workshops on Fridays, so the decision seemed easy.
All we had to do is explain to clients that we won’t be available to them on Fridays, won’t be reading or responding to emails. All the urgent correspondence should be sent on Thursday. We don’t expect anyone on the team to be available to the team or the clients on Friday, regardless of how urgent things may seem. Ideally, everyone disconnects on Thursday and only comes back to check their email on Monday morning.
Productivity over schedules
Working together for the past couple of years, we quickly realised each of us achieves her peak productivity levels at a different time. I am most productive early in the morning while Karolina handles the most challenging tasks in the evenings. The solution was… working asynchronously. We choose our own schedule, taking into consideration when we feel most productive. We can get most of our work done regardless of whether the other one is also at work.
This extreme flexibility is a great addition to the 4-day work week. Combined, they are the perfect tools for managing our own productivity. Of course, it requires maturity and engagement, as well as some getting used to. But the effect can really snowball: by trusting the team to look after their own productivity, we observe an increased level of engagement, which in turn means we can trust the team even more.
The biggest challenge was, as it turns out, setting the right rules for asynchronous work. We spent some time searching for a good template, but ended up having to draft our own. It’s hardly the perfect document, but we’ve had quite a while to work on it by now. It helped us onboard Magda, our first trainer, and is currently reviewed by Zosia, who just joined the team.
Come back for the template: rules for asynchronous work
We’ll share the document we created in the next blog post, so make sure to come back and check it out!