Stakester’s experiment: total schedule flexibility

As many groups proceed to work at home, the standard eight-hour, five-day workweek is getting a makeover. Schedule experiments have gotten extra prevalent, however the CEO of 1 U.Ok.-based tech firm doesn’t suppose firms are going far sufficient.

“Plenty of companies strive four-day weeks, and I don’t really feel they’re really versatile,” says Tom Fairey, CEO of Stakester, a web based skills-based competitors platform for avid gamers. “For those who inform individuals once they must work, you’re not giving them flexibility. Some individuals may wish to work the weekend, after which they really feel like they’ll’t. Simply because a workweek construction is put in place for everybody, it doesn’t essentially imply that it really works for everybody.”

Earlier than launching Stakester, Fairey got here from a company background. When he began his firm, he heard a phrase that challenged his administration philosophy: Work is one thing you do, not someplace you go. After beginning the corporate with a standard five-day workweek, Fairey determined to strive an experiment, giving his staff full flexibility.

“I believed to myself, ‘How can I create one thing that works for everybody?’” he says. “We now have what we name an ‘grownup tradition.’ So long as you get your work executed, it doesn’t matter if you do it.”

The Completely Versatile Workweek

Stakester staff can work any day of the week, anytime they need. As a substitute of being measured by hours, staff members have very particular objectives to attain. Somebody who works in product improvement, for instance, is given a timeline to finish a brand new characteristic.


“We’re a enterprise, and we’ve received deadlines and targets, however when individuals work, that’s nonsensical,” says Fairey. “We’re 100% outcomes pushed. We set out what we have to obtain, we comply with it, after which they go off and do it. They resolve in the event that they’re going to work at 10 o’clock at evening or 6 within the morning. I [ask] them to be accountable and work the hours essential to make it occur.”

Fairey says the method entails an athletic mindset. “For those who stated to an athlete, ‘You’re going to run a marathon in 6 weeks’ time,’ you wouldn’t say, ‘however you need to run between 10 and 12 day by day,’” he says. “You’d say, ‘Run if you wish to run.’ It’s the identical with work. In the event that they’re feeling a bit drained and don’t have a relaxation, they’ll be on the pc being a zombie. I would like them energized, the place they’re working exhausting the entire time as a result of they’re engaged.”

However working totally different hours than coworkers can create a problem if you happen to want info to finish your work. “We are saying to individuals, ‘We’d like you to only be accountable,’” says Fairey. “We offer you absolute freedom, however there’s an expectation that we nonetheless must get the job executed. You must be respectful of different individuals’s freedom. For those who’re asking somebody a query at 4 within the morning, it’s most likely a bit unreasonable to count on a reply straightaway. Be respectful of different individuals’s time and wishes. And when you need to utterly change off, let individuals know.”

The Outcomes of Total Flexibility

After shifting management to staff, Fairley says some caught to a nine-to-five, five-day week. “The remainder of the world operates in that vogue, and that’s completely advantageous,” he says.

Different staff favor to work weekends, and a few work nights. And Fairey says one worker primarily based within the U.S. likes to work U.Ok. hours as a result of they get extra freedom within the afternoon.


A totally versatile association gained’t work for each enterprise, however Fairey recommends it for distant firms which are targeted on aims and objectives. “Once you give individuals freedom to work in the way in which that works finest for them, quite than the way in which that works finest for you, you’ll be amazed at what individuals are in a position to obtain,” he says. “Full flexibility helps the psychological well-being of staff and takes away some stress. If they should decide up the youngsters from college, go to the physician, or simply wish to go to the health club, they’ll. The very best outcomes you get are all the time going to be from the staff who’re the happiest. It’s your accountability as an employer to make it possible for your staff are challenged but in addition joyful.”

Recommendation for Getting Began

Fairey admits that leaders must take a leap of religion when implementing full flexibility. “When you begin to see advantages, it turns into simpler, however I gained’t fake that it was simple to start with,” he says. “Belief is one thing to earn over time. When you give it to your staff, they’ll give it again to you as nicely, and so they’ll wish to work for the higher good of the enterprise.”

Fairey describes the enterprise outcomes of full flexibility as “unimaginable.” “We discovered that individuals are being extra inventive, and their output is healthier,” he says. “I don’t know if [complete flexibility] is the one issue, however our enterprise has grown by about 2,000% since we put this method in place.”

Whether or not it’s a four-day workweek or full flexibility, now could be one of the best time for firms to experiment, provides Fairey. “We’re at an incredible level in our historical past the place we’re in a position to change the rulebook, begin issues from scratch, and determine how we are able to make a major distinction to the way in which that we’re working,” he says. “[Workweek structures] have been in favor of the employer for a very long time. I believe it’s necessary that we get to the place there’s a stability on each side. I’d encourage different leaders and entrepreneurs to do what works for what you are promoting. Experiment with it and see what occurs. I believe you’ll be amazed on the consequence.”


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