Commerce protection provider Signifyd, whose R&D centre is headquartered in Belfast, has announced that it will advance the future of work by permanently shifting its operation to a four-day workweek after months of trials that proved beneficial to productivity and employee satisfaction.

The four-day workweek will provide Signifyd’s predominantly remote workforce with the flexibility to perform a work/life rebalance and the opportunity to better care for themselves, their communities, and their friends and families. While company leaders had long discussed the move, the unique pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic played a key role in focusing attention on the change.

“When employees are literally working in the same place where they’re supposed to play and relax, burnout just becomes a very real possibility,” Signifyd Senior Vice President of People Operations Emily Mikailli said. “The data demonstrates that four-day workweeks have proven to help with that. Our business is based on the power of data. It wouldn’t make much sense to ignore the data in this case, especially when it concerns an issue that is vital to our employees’ well-being.

“The nature of work and the workplace have shifted dramatically in the two years of the pandemic. In many companies, working from home is no longer the exception. It’s often the rule. Hybrid work arrangements are commonplace. The next wave of change is likely to be dominated by shifts that make those arrangements more pleasant, productive and gratifying for employees.

“We’re proud to be among the leaders in this movement to think more deeply about the initiatives we chose to work on so that we are all working fewer, but more meaningful hours. Focusing intelligently on what we choose to prioritize makes us more efficient and more fulfilled as people,” CEO Raj Ramanand said. “We believe in the not-so-distant future, the four-day workweek will be table stakes for companies looking to hire the most capable, creative and committed candidates in the market. We’re happy to be showing others the way and we’ll continue to innovate in the areas of work-life and the workplace.”

The keys to a successful four-day workweek program are communication and flexibility, Mikailli said. A policy that means employees aren’t expected to work on a given day does not mean employees cannot work on a given day. Some might see the day as a chance to focus more deeply on a work-related project — without the interruption of meetings. Some might use a few hours to catch up on work-related tasks that they’d otherwise find themselves catching up on, on a Saturday or Sunday. “The end goal is to alleviate stress and help people be more efficient, and that may look different across employees,” Mikailli added.

Signifyd provides mission-critical order automation and fraud and policy abuse protection for ecommerce retailers, including some of the world’s largest. The work by its nature is 24 hours, seven days a week, every week.

Teams at Signifyd will structure schedules so that constant support and consultation continue to be available, while still providing every team member with a four-day week.

Productivity did not wane during the company’s months-long trial of shorter workweeks and employees expressed broad support for the innovative initiative, both of which were key in adopting the arrangement permanently.

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