Stakester’s experiment: total schedule flexibility

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

“Plenty of companies attempt four-day weeks, and I don’t really feel they’re actually versatile,” says Tom Fairey, CEO of Stakester, an internet skills-based competitors platform for avid gamers. “In case you inform folks after they should work, you’re not giving them flexibility. Some folks would possibly need 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 conventional five-day workweek, Fairey determined to attempt an experiment, giving his crew full flexibility.


“I assumed 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 finished, it doesn’t matter once you do it.”

The Completely Versatile Workweek

Stakester workers can work any day of the week, anytime they need. As an alternative of being measured by hours, crew members have very particular targets to attain. Somebody who works in product improvement, for instance, is given a timeline to finish a brand new function.

“We’re a enterprise, and we’ve obtained deadlines and targets, however when folks work, that’s nonsensical,” says Fairey. “We’re 100% outcomes pushed. We set out what we have to obtain, we conform to it, after which they go off and do it. They determine 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 strategy includes an athletic mindset. “In case you mentioned 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-after-day,’” he says. “You’ll say, ‘Run once you need 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 laptop being a zombie. I need them energized, the place they’re working onerous the entire time as a result of they’re engaged.”

However working completely different hours than coworkers can create a problem should you want data to finish your work. “We are saying to folks, ‘We’d like you to simply be accountable,’” says Fairey. “We provide you with absolute freedom, however there’s an expectation that we nonetheless must get the job finished. It’s a must to be respectful of different folks’s freedom. In case you’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 folks’s time and wishes. And when you need to utterly swap off, let folks know.”

The Outcomes of Total Flexibility

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


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

A very versatile association received’t work for each enterprise, however Fairey recommends it for distant corporations which can be centered on targets and targets. “If you give folks freedom to work in the best way that works greatest for them, fairly than the best way that works greatest for you, you’ll be amazed at what persons are in a position to obtain,” he says. “Full flexibility helps the psychological well-being of workers and takes away some stress. If they should choose up the children from faculty, go to the physician, or simply need to go to the gymnasium, they’ll. The most effective outcomes you get are all the time going to be from the staff who’re the happiest. It’s your duty as an employer to make it possible for your workers are challenged but in addition pleased.”

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 received’t faux that it was simple to start with,” he says. “Belief is one thing to earn over time. When you give it to your workers, they’ll give it again to you as nicely, they usually’ll need to work for the better good of the enterprise.”

Fairey describes the enterprise outcomes of full flexibility as “unbelievable.” “We discovered that persons 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 the perfect time for corporations 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 work out how we are able to make a big distinction to the best way that we’re working,” he says. “[Workweek structures] have been in favor of the employer for a very long time. I believe it’s essential that we get to the place there’s a steadiness on either side. I’d encourage different leaders and entrepreneurs to do what works for your corporation. Experiment with it and see what occurs. I believe you’ll be amazed on the end result.”