30th March 2022
In an industry leading move, LED lighting & electronics manufacturer Oxley Group, is moving to a four-day working week in a bid to improve work life balance for employees, drive business productivity and reduce carbon footprint.
The move, which will cover the whole operation at their head office site in Ulverston, Cumbria, will be implemented from 4th April 2022 on a 12-month trial basis has been regarded as highly progressive by industry colleagues and customers. The team will continue to operate a 37 hour week which will be worked on a flexible basis over four long days.
The new working arrangement has overwhelming support from the Oxley team and the Group forsees that it will deliver multiple benefits. The most notable of these is a better work-life balance, which will support the health and wellbeing of the team. In the current climate of skills shortages it is hoped that this will aid both support the retention of current skills and future recruitment.
There is much evidence that a four day week model delivers higher productivity and performance, research into existing four day week implementation programmes shows that a shorter working week increases an organisation’s productivity, in addition some Oxley production cycles are better suited to a longer day model, which will enhance Oxley’s excellent customer delivery.
As part of the business’ commitment to Sustainability, a four day working week will reduce site energy usage and have a significant impact on carbon footprint by removing the need for 20% of travel to work journeys. Additionally, as a signatory to the Women in Defence and the Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter, gender equality is very important to Oxley and there is strong industry evidence to suggest that this move will deliver improved gender balance.
The response from the Oxley team has been very positive, its hoped that there will also be a community benefit to the new arrangement as all Oxley colleagues will have more leisure time to spend locally, supporting other Cumbrian businesses.
Manufacturing Supervisor, Liam Williams commented, ‘Being at home on a Friday, I’m able to spend more time with my daughter, reducing the time she spends in childcare and therefore reducing the cost of childcare. This allows me to spend more time with my family and to have a better work – life balance which is very important to me. The change has been a massive boost for morale, to know that the company is listening to your ideas and taking action.’
Production Manager, Helen Cooper added, ‘It’s not just a four day week, under the flexible working arrangements I can make my schedule work for me, this is beneficial to a lot of people and especially those with a family and it makes Oxley a more attractive place to work’
Mechanical Design Engineer, Aaron Fox is looking forward to less driving time, ‘I commute 50 miles a day, one less travel day will save me £500 a year and it will give me personal time at the weekend. Oxley is giving us a lot of trust, this makes it a more pleasurable place to work’
Operations Manager, Kieth Denison is clear on how he will be spending his Fridays, ‘We’re based so close to the Lake District, I’m looking forward to working a four day week and getting some more cycling in over a three day weekend’
Oxley Group CEO, Darren Cavan commented, ‘Our team is at the heart of the business, after the pandemic we had to look at how the future of work would look. We undertook a survey entitled ‘Challenge and Change’ to understand the priorities of our colleagues, there was overwhelming support for a four day week. We listened and we’re delighted that we have been able to move forward and implement this so quickly, alongside flexible and hybrid working solutions.
The flexible and hybrid changes enable our team to develop a work pattern that fits for them personally and that is suited to their role, for example they may wish to work from home when focus and concentration is needed or to work onsite when collaboration is required, feedback from many employees was that connections were also very important to them so all of our team will still have a desk and Oxley will continue to support the activities and social interaction on site that our team enjoys so much.
We believe this change will offer a Win, Win, Win, to our team, the business and of course our customers across the globe who expect an excellent level of service from Oxley.’