Nine day fortnight trial proves a success for Brighton-based tech company

A Brighton-based company has declared its alternative to the four-day week to be a success after data showed both happy staff and clients.

Between July and September 2022, Cloud9 Insight trialed an innovative alternative to the much-discussed four-day working week: a ‘nine day fortnight’.

For just an extra half an hour worked every Monday to Thursday, employees were rewarded with every other Friday off – paid – and a dedicated day per fortnight to focus on Strategy, Innovation, Learning, Charity and Community. The company called these days ‘SILCC days’.

Three months after it began the trial, Cloud9 Insight surveyed both employees and clients, finding both groups strongly approved of the scheme.

“We ran surveys both in April 2022, before the trial began, and again in September, to determine how both clients and staff responded,” said Carlene Jackson, CEO.

“The results were powerful, with 92 per cent of employees agreeing they felt they had a good work-life balance, up from 88 per cent in April.

“Clients also responded positively, with survey data and individual feedback indicating no change in our standards following the shift to a nine day fortnight.

“Meanwhile, our financial data shows the company continued to grow at the same rate both before and during the trial, while client satisfaction was maintained at 94 per cent or above each month.”

The nine day fortnight idea was created by Jackson who felt the joy of the ‘four day week’ could dissipate over time.

“People get used to perks very quickly, so they lose their power. However, having a five day week followed by a four day one gives them something to compare it to,” explains Jackson.

“My team wanted to spend more time with their families and responded well to the idea of compressing their hours into a shorter week.

“But we were concerned this might lead to much longer days. So we came up with what you might call a third way – the nine-day fortnight.”

Under this initiative, staff hours are increased by thirty minutes to eight hours per day. While everyone has a day off every other Friday. There is no change to pay, although the overall hours are reduced by three per fortnight.

“It’s proven effective and popular so far though we’ll keep reviewing. As an employer I am pleased to be helping my team gain a better work-life balance.”

You can read and download the full report on Cloud9’s trial and the results.

About Carlene Jackson

Carlene Jackson is the CEO of Brighton-based tech company Cloud9 Insight, a Microsoft Gold Partner, which has provided over a thousand businesses with cloud-based CRM software systems. Founded in 2010, they continue to experience an average year on year growth of 35 percent. Never afraid of being disruptive; Carlene has brought in a nine-day working week and continues to put workplace culture front and centre of business growth.

Shortlisted in the ‘Woman of the Year’ category in the Women In IT national awards 2021, Carlene also recently set up Cloud9 University; a training business to support development of talent in the tech sector.

Carlene established her first business in Brighton aged 17 and then spent nearly two decades in the software industry working for companies including IBM, Xansa, and Sage before going it alone to take advantage of the booming cloud technology sector.

She is frequently featured in the media, including as a regular guest of BBC Radio, for her expertise and opinions on tech and entrepreneurship, as well as her views on company culture, employee wellbeing and neurodiversity.

Carlene lives in Brighton with her husband and three children with whom she shares a passion for travel, good food and making music. She also enjoys walks on the beautiful South Downs with her two Samoyed dogs.

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