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#379 – The Flexible Work Week

Friday Ship #379 | January 12th, 2024

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This week, some members of our company shifted to a new, opt-in program to work fewer hours per week in exchange for prorated compensation.

At our core, we believe in continuously exploring new and adaptive ways of working. The economic slowdown has presented us with an opportunity to find creative ways to stretch our dollars to keep reaching our goals. We’re experimenting with a new volunteer program allowing our Members to work fewer days a week in exchange for prorated compensation not just as a measure to streamline expenses but as a way to enhance our employee experience for those who can take advantage of the program.

The essence of the Flexible Work Week Program

The flexible work week allows our team members to choose to work fewer days per week, in exchange for a proportional reduction in salary. It’s designed to try to allow for the folks who opt-in to use the increased personal time to meet other needs within their life (child care, side projects, travel, personal development, etc.) while maximizing our company’s operational efficiency and momentum.

Key Features:

  • Core Working Days: Participants are expected to work from Tuesday to Thursday (a minimum of 3 days per week), ensuring guaranteed overlap for the company – note that in some jurisdictions a minimum of 30 hours per week is required for full-time employment and benefits
  • No Reduction in Benefits: benefits such as health care and equity vesting are clocks are not modified if a Member chooses to opt-in to this program
  • Flexibility to Make Modifications: Members are able to modify their participation in the program opting in, opting our or making modifications – for example, working 3-days a week while working in a foreign country, and changing to a 4-day a week schedule when back at home – as long as they provide the company with 30 days notice
  • Calendar Expectations: participants are expected to maintain their shared calendar with their availability to ease coordination
  • Team Rhythm Adjustments: Our team structures will adapt to this new schedule, ensuring that our project sprints and meetings remain productive and on-track.

A win-win scenario

Why are we excited about this? It’s simple. This program is more than a cost optimization measure; it’s a cultural shift. By offering flexible work options, we are empowering our team to find their ideal work-life balance, leading to enhanced well-being and productivity. It’s a testament to our belief that a happy team is a productive team.

Let’s see how it plays out..

Experimentation is part of our organization’s DNA. We’re not sure how it will play out. Allowing folks to take a Wellness Day every other week had a positive effect on burnout, and no measurable change to productivity.

How will this program affect operations? We’re eager to find out. Stay tuned and we’ll share what we learn…


While top-of-the-funnel activity has not fully returned to pre-holiday season levels, as folks are coming back to the office there’s a big increase in usage, particularly in poker and standup meetings.

This week we…

adjusted how code reviews will work for those who choose to work fewer days per week. A short sentence or two describing it.

made progress enhancing our Kudos feature. Our team has been diligently finding ways to celebrate good work inside of our product. This week, we’ve added functionality (soon to ship) that will allow people to celebrate each other’s work inside retrospective meetings.

…smoothed down a bit of user friction when folks create new custom meeting templates. Previously, team’s could only have one template named for the fault *New Template name. That made for some frustrating moments when folks didn’t rename them. This has now been fixed.

Next week we’ll

…begin working on our strategy for the first trimester of 2024.

Jordan Husney

Jordan Husney

Jordan leads Parabol’s business development strategy and engineering practice. He was previously a Director at Undercurrent, where he advised C-Suite teams of Fortune 100 organizations on the future of work. Jordan has an engineering background, holding several patents in distributed systems and wireless technology. Jordan lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

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