NEWS / Blog / Piloting a nine day fortnight


29 MAR 2022


Richard Wood shares how Hoare Lea is enhancing the work/life balance of its employees


ith wellbeing and flexible working at the top of the agenda for leadership teams and HR professionals throughout the pandemic, and employees increasingly used to flexibility in their working arrangements, many companies have been recently exploring new ways of working.

There is no one size fits all approach in HR, nor indeed when it comes to company culture, and the solutions that you might read about elsewhere won’t necessarily work for your own business. I still believe, however, that there is plenty we can learn from others, and it can feed into overall thinking enabling organisations to tailor strategies to their own circumstances.

What is more certain, however, is the increasing demands for flexibility in the workplace. Companies of all shapes and sizes will be grappling with the same questions. How can we meet demands for increased flexibility from our people? How will we ensure our offering competes with our peers inside and outside our industry?

With hybrid working now considered a core component of the way we work at Hoare Lea, we wanted to do more to improve flexible working for all of our people. Richard Wood (Hoare Lea), vice chair of the HR forum

As part of a wider initiative to explore future ways of working, Hoare Lea has introduced an activity-based approach to hybrid working, providing flexibility about where people can work from, and an optional firm-wide nine-day fortnight, taking flexibility a step further for when people can work.

The nine-day fortnight initiative has been extremely well received so far, with over 450 employees – around a half of our firm – opting in since its launch in November 2021. In compressing ten full working days into nine, it enables employees to have one extra non-working day, while retaining full pay and benefits. Our people are able to request two options for their non-working day, ensuring teams are able to manage workload and client interactions.

This new approach is our own attempt to maintain flexibility for employees and improve work/life balance following the pandemic. With hybrid working now considered a core component of the way we work at Hoare Lea, we wanted to do more to improve flexible working for all of our people.

Our pilot has also helped to create a trustworthy culture where people are given ownership of their working life and allows them to be their best.

As with any new initiative, we want to make sure it works for everyone, including our people and clients. We are continually reviewing the scheme’s success, but we hope to confirm the nine-day fortnight as a permanent benefit from April 2022.

Members interested in finding out more about our pilot can get in touch with me, or meet me at an upcoming HR forum where I’m more than happy to share our experiences to date and will also be keen to hear how other companies are dealing with their own challenges post-pandemic.

The HR forum brings people professionals and SME leaders together to explore the major issues in HR.

Richard  Wood

Richard Wood

Senior HR Manager

Richard is vide chair of ACE and EIC's HR forum and Senior HR Manager at Hoare Lea.