Creating More Flexible Work Life Integration on Fridays


Starting the first full week in April, FM:Systems will transition to a work week that includes half-day Fridays. As a company, our weekends start at noon on Friday.

The term work/life balance has become a bit outdated. It fails to adequately capture the complexity of “life.” Life doesn’t just mean spending time with our families. Life intermingles a myriad of pursuits and obligations—hobbies, family, faith, friends, adventure, volunteering and work.

Our goal as a company is to make sure our people feel they have adequate time set aside to grab all of life’s opportunities and enjoy some quiet time as well. We hope Flex Fridays will help with work-life integration.

We’re committed to outstanding employee experience

This Flex Friday initiative is one part of our larger commitment to continuous improvement of the employee experience. Companies face one of the most competitive labor markets in history. Our own internal employee surveys, as well as external research, reveal employees are seeking flexibility in their work experience:

A good employee experience and positive company culture are essential ingredients for recruitment and retention of top talent. Further, we know improving employee experience is a key driver of engagement and performance.

FM:Systems strives to deliver a culture and employee experience that supports wellbeing and inspires creativity, innovation and productivity. Research by Gartner found flexible work hours help drive employee productivity. In fact, 43% of employees said schedule flexibility was the main reason they were able to increase their productivity. Another 19% cited less time spent in meetings.

Keep Friday afternoons meeting-free for time to focus

It is important to truly disconnect from work while you focus on other parts of your life. To that end, our people should not feel they need to monitor email all weekend. It is already our policy to eliminate or minimize emails over the weekend. On the rare occasions management must send an email on the weekend, we don’t expect a quick reply.

Now, that same principle applies to Friday afternoons. We’ve asked all leaders to eliminate internal meetings on Friday afternoons and minimize emails.

A flexible Friday, not a reduced work week

FM:Systems believes strongly in the need to provide flexibility to our teammates with work-life integrations. Flex Fridays are a further extension of that flexibility. It is built on a foundation of trust and accountability.

Flex Fridays might not work for some employees’ work life integration in some weeks, and that’s okay. We recognize some may want to use a Friday afternoon here or there as quiet focus time to catch up. If that is the case, Friday afternoons will remain free of distraction, so our teammates can get things done.

We seek integration and balance—that means employees doing an outstanding job for our customers and preserving time for themselves and their obligations outside work.

What’s good for our people is good for our business

One of our corporate values at FM:Systems is “Do The Right Thing.” We are pursuing better work-life integration on Fridays because it’s the right thing to do for our people. Improving flexibility can help create a better employee experience. This is an investment in our teammates’ happiness and wholeness. We believe this can contribute toward better physical, mental and social health. And that is good for everyone.