Starting this June, the London-based outfit will offer all permanent staff an extra day off per week with no loss of pay. The business hopes to make the trial a success and be part of a “progressive change in the modern working environment”.
The trial, co-ordinated by campaign group 4 Day Week Global, operates on a 100-80-100 model, which stands for 100% of the productivity, 80% of the hours, 100% of the pay. It follows successful trials in different institutions and countries, which have consistently demonstrated no loss of productivity (and in some cases increased productivity) alongside significant benefits in terms of employee wellbeing, productivity, engagement, retention, environmental effects, parental time and more.
As a manufacturing company that makes and ships a physical product and provides customer service, Pressure Drop said it faces challenges that are not faced in the same way by many other companies, which enjoy greater flexibility around work location and timing. Yet, Pressure Drop has proposed to maintain its current hours of operation and spread the additional days off across the week.
Pressure Drop co-founder and director Sam Smith said: “When we started Pressure Drop almost 10 years ago now, we wanted to create a workplace for ourselves with a natural level of balance, which others could join, doing something that was both constructive and worthwhile. We wanted our work to produce something we could be proud of.
“Brewing, packaging and selling beer was, and is, in many ways a simple life. There are periods of intense work, and other times when we must wait, and, as the cliché has it, let the yeast do the work.
“We’ve never been the kind of brewery to crank the maximum possible from our kit by brewing multiple times in one day. We didn’t want our workplace to be one in which people started work at 4am, or finished work at midnight, with irregular shift times and patterns of sleep.”
We don’t want to take over the world
Smith continued: “We expanded into our current Tottenham site in 2017, building a larger brewhouse and taproom than the small railway arch brewery we started out in, but we never wanted relentless expansion to be our model.
“Endless growth is something we are taught is desirable for a business, but that cannot work if everyone is trying to do the same thing. There has to be a place for a small business to remain small. Today we are a team of nine full-time employees, of whom eight work at the brewery. We did not, and do not, want to take over the world.
“For these reasons, we think we are a good fit for the four-day week trial. We hope our progress as a brewery will be a source of keen interest for the experts and researchers supporting the trial, as well as to others in the beer industry. We also look forward to their help in overcoming these challenges, while accepting that ultimately the solutions must come from within our own team.”