The four-day work week

I love the idea of four-day work weeks. Our Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 culture is antiquated. But why is it when you get two four-day weeks in a row, it throws you completely?

Exploring new ways of working

I introduced the team to the design studio workshop. A collaborative exercise to generate ideas. It had concerned me for a while that entrusting an individual to design a solution on there own is limited. So I wanted to see what would happen if we did something together.

The design studio hinges around a problem statement. I made a mistake of providing the team with multiple problem statements. I did this because I wasn’t sure what type of statement to use — user story, five-whys or a contextual brief. I also wasn’t sure which would be most inspiring or useful for the team.

But what happened is that everyone latched onto different statements to design solutions for. We struggled to evaluate and consolidate ideas as they were completely different things.

Design studio consolidate ideas

While the output was perhaps a little weak, it was still helpful to go through the exercise. Sketching, talking about design and presenting are skills we’re a little out of practice with.

A new job role

I was unexpectedly promoted to a lead role following appraisals. For the agency it’s an entirely new role to manage and deliver web projects. There’s a lot for me to figure out, but I am looking forward to the challenges.

One thing I hope to bring to the team is more structure and clear processes. We’re in a habit of everyone managing their own projects and clients individually. The autonomy is welcome, but it doesn’t foster a supportive or collaborative way of working. When we have worked together in the past it has always been enjoyable and productive.

— Alexander Blackman