Why a 4-day work week?

Published Aug 29, 2022, 11:17 AM
Written by Owen Windsor

We've moved to a 4-day work week. 80% of each person's time at 100% of the pay. How does this work?

We’ve done it

Symbiote has just moved to 4-day work week. We’re paying everyone 100% of their pay for 80% of their time in the office. We didn't compress hours or build a convoluted 9-day fortnight or TOIL structure – we just lopped a day off every week for everyone.

The change has been on the cards for a while

We’ve been offering all kinds of flexibility to our staff for quite a while, with some people negotiating reduced hours, doing some compressed 10 hour days or pro-rated pay. COVID brought things to a head for us, along with the challenge to offer our staff and new recruits we were trying to attract in a competitive market.

A person-centric focus isn’t just for software – it’s for life

We want to see change in the software development landscape – we want to see improvement, engagement and freedom. That's why we've always worked with Open Source software. We love the way it allows any of us to contribute to and engage with a community. We want that sense of community and humanity for the rest of our business too – that focus on people and all they need and offer.

Enjoying more family time in the bush
Enjoying more family time in the bush

We’re living our own values

Our small team has incredible diversity – we’re delighted to have women making up 50% of our workforce and the perspectives everyone brings from a range of ethnicities, cultures, religions, skills and backgrounds. Whenever we recruit we’re looking for people who value the things we do, who’ll be happy to pitch in, stay curious, keep learning and who want to leave everything they do in better shape than they found it. We value improvement, engagement and freedom.

We know there’s more to life than work

Our parental leave policy provides our team with 18 weeks leave on full pay for whoever’s the primary carer of a child (we'll top up the Government allowance). That includes full superannuation being paid for that period. The secondary carer gets 6 weeks of leave, with the same caveats.

Time to explore light installations with friends
Time to explore light installations with friends

Flexible work arrangements with the option of working in the office

We’re a fully flexible workplace, with people able to work from home all the time if they choose, or, if they’re in Melbourne, to use the CBD office whenever they want.

We all choose our work hours between 0700 to 1900. We understand the school run, we know how dogs work, and that cats likely need their own keyboard when you're in a client meeting.

We’ll tweak the 4-day week concept (software developers like to try things and improve things after all)

Over the next 2 months our team will help iron out the details and variables so our clients and projects continue to get the same seamless high level of service, while we each work out our own 4-day week arrangements.

What are we doing with our three days off each week?

We’re making up for what so many of us lost during long COVID lockdowns: autonomy and freedom to live our lives and engage with the things that excite us. In work hours we want to enjoy working with each other on our projects, getting the satisfaction of using our skills and overcoming gnarly challenges. We also want them enjoying days at the zoo with their family, dumplings with friends, smashing out a quick 50ks or finishing that book they've been meaning to get to.

A long weekend trip to Hanging Rock
A long weekend trip to Hanging Rock

Join us today

Sound good?

Ever dreamt of having greater work-life balance, working alongside talented teammates while producing work you can be proud of? If you answered yes then this role could be for you, for more information visit:

Working at Symbiote