Fintech scaleup Upgrade Pack, the UK’s first employee-owned tech company, has this week launched a four-day work week.
The initiative is aimed at bringing better work-life balance to Upgrade Pack’s 24 employees, and greater opportunities to explore outside work interests and vocations during the company’s period of high growth. Employees will now work a 38-hour week from Monday-Thursday, with no decrease in salary or holiday entitlement.
“Employee wellbeing is one of the fundamental values on which Upgrade Pack was founded,” said Craig Unsworth, company CEO. “As we continue to grow as a business, we want to make sure our employees have a healthy balance between work and life. Our new four-day week will not only further foster an already vibrant company culture, it will give us the best possible chance of retaining our talented team, who are helping us bring a truly transformative technology to the market.”
Upgrade Pack, which is part-owned by its employees through the company’s Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) scheme, is on the cusp of launching its closed marketplace app which gives users access to live, discounted upgrades on their flights and hotels. The company is targeting banks and corporations with a radically improved way to generate customer and employee loyalty and reward.
“A four-day work week also represents a ‘practice what you preach’ moment for Upgrade Pack,” added Urchana Moudgil, COO. Our technology enables our users to upgrade pre-booked flights and hotels, at discounts not available elsewhere. It is a great way for companies who are looking to provide a more modern, value driven- benefit that actively encourages employees to travel and maximise their holiday time. By trialling a four-day week, we are embodying the employee-centric values we are looking to foster with our product.”
Upgrade Pack’s reasons behind the four-day week include:
- Better employee work / life balance
- Opportunities for employees to give back (e.g. volunteering) or develop additional interests (such as personal passion projects or` ‘side hustles’)
- Improve productivity and business performance
- Reduced sick leave
- Reduced company and employee carbon footprint
Upgrade Pack’s reduced work week is an employee driven scheme who responded favourably to the idea. The initiative will initially be trialled over a 10-week period, to be extended indefinitely based upon its success.