Wish you had a three-day weekend every week? This startup in Portland does — and it helps them recruit top employees.
“I wish we had a three-day weekend every week.”
On the Tuesdays after long weekends, this sentiment is echoed in offices everywhere. For most people, it’s nothing more than an offhand statement — a faraway dream.
But for the employees of tech startup Treehouse LLC in Portland, Oregon, it’s reality: every week, they have Fridays off.
Company founder Ryan Carson was trying to nap under his desk at a startup job when he had his a-ha moment:
“That’s when I realized, this is where it goes, if you work hard and never stop. It’s like being on the treadmill and not even understanding why you’re there,” he told The Washington Post.
How this unusual policy has helped recruiting
So Carson became his own boss, and has implemented a four-day workweek at three different startups since 2005. Not only do he and his employees enjoy a higher quality of life, but the company has also found that its unusual schedule works well as a recruiting tool. (Click here to tweet this discovery.)
“It makes recruiting and retention so much easier. It’s almost funny,” Carson said. “When someone is considering us or Google or Facebook, we say, ‘Well, are you going to work a four-day week there?’ It’s almost like our amazing ace up the sleeve. It’s just something nobody can beat.”
That’s because four-day workweeks are unheard of at most startups, where working yourself into the ground is the norm. But for many people — especially those with families — this lifestyle simply isn’t sustainable. Carson said most of the people who come to Treehouse are sick of “‘the lie’ of start-up culture: working their guts out, chasing the dream of a big pay off that never came” — which makes them eager to work for a company that places a higher value on work-life balance.
And for Carson, his policy is paying off.
We’ve discussed before how working less — not more — can lead to higher productivity, and this might be the case with Treehouse. “The company has raised $13 million, saw 100 percent revenue growth last year and has close to 100 percent employee retention,” reports The Washington Post.
Not bad, right? Though four-day weeks might be difficult to implement at your workplace, there is a takeaway from this story: if you want to recruit top candidates, you can’t ignore the increasingly important role of company culture, flexible hours and unusual perks.
How can you use these concepts to make your workplace more attractive to recruits?
Susan Shain (@Susan_Shain) is a freelance writer and travel blogger who loves helping people discover adventure through international travel or alternative careers.