Beginning on Friday, July 2nd, FM:Systems will close its office internationally for all five Fridays in July as a way of showing our appreciation for the hard work our team has put in over the past 15 months. It’ll be a great reprieve for each of us individually, and we feel the reasons we took this important company action deserve more explanation. 

Since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic more than 15 months ago, our employees have transitioned effectively to fully remote work, even as many simultaneously juggled the management of their children’s remote learning, dealt with plenty of health and wellness concerns, lost loved ones to Covid, canceled vacation plans, and worked tirelessly to ensure they always gave our clients, partners and prospects top notch  support. Their resiliency and positivity have been critical to keeping our customers and business moving in the right direction. From helping our customers deploy our safe-space solutions early in the pandemic to now moving forward with critical hybrid workplace solutions, they’ve worked incredibly hard during an unprecedented time. 

But as we hit the halfway mark of this year, we felt like it was time for our employees to take Fridays off – to rest, to recharge, to spend time just relaxing and doing whatever makes them happy while remaining healthy and safe. We truly believe that time off is vital to the health and wellbeing of our people and our company. That’s why there’s no subtle expectation of squeezing five days of work into four days. This policy is entirely and simply designed to give everyone a much-needed break – and a way for us to say “thank you” to our employees.

 

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Value-driven HR policy

One of our corporate values at FM:Systems is “Do The Right Thing”. From an HR perspective, that means pursuing policies that support employees and that encourage them to do their best work in whatever place best works for them. It also means recognizing the humanity of our employees and the stress everyone has been under since the pandemic began. 

From the start, we have been very proactive with employees seeking alternate or flexible schedules. Whether driven by the need to accommodate changing family obligations, a preferred work style, or mental or physical health needs, it’s been our priority to find a way to make it work. As we continue to embrace new models of work and introduce the hybrid model internally, the importance of flexibility and personal time will remain foundational to the way we operate. 

 

 

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Employee Response

Overwhelmingly, our employees are excited for July. We’ve heard about employees planning three-day hiking or camping trips with their families and others taking week-long vacations with the dual benefits of saving a day of PTO and only having four days of emails to catch-up on when they return. Others are planning to use the time to start or further develop a hobby, just take some much-needed “me time”, exercise, catch up on reading, or see friends they haven’t in over a year. The goal is to let everyone be themselves, do what’s best for them, and enjoy their lives. 

 

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Investing in a happy, relaxed workforce is good business

We are pursuing these policies because it’s the right thing to do for our people. It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate that our hard work and perseverance has paid off. It’s a chance for all of our employees, across the world, to take a collective breath every Friday during July and enjoy a long weekend. The benefits that could follow – relaxed employees, improved employee engagement, stronger retention rates, more productive and collaborative work days, and more – would all just be icing on the cake.