Weronika Brodowska Junior Digital Marketing Specialist

Working less, achieving more: Benefits of a shorter work week at .mta

At .mta, flexibility is one of the core values of our work philosophy. We let you choose your own path and your ideal work environment, as well as schedule your hours when you feel most energized and focused. Why? Because at .mta, we put our people first — they are the ones creating the magic and driving our success. Our goal is to maximize value — within the company, across projects, for our clients, and in personal development. That’s why we’ve chosen to reduce working hours, focusing on productivity and quality instead of strict monitoring of work hours. Interested in checking the outcome? Check the article and discover the full story!

The storyline

The pandemic led to many unexpected changes in daily life and work. Companies around the world had to rethink their work styles and operations. Many people started working from home and found it hard to be as productive due to feeling isolated and missing social interactions with friends and family.

Because of these challenges, some businesses changed the usual 40-hour work system to shorter work weeks. This shift started to become popular, and more companies and countries began to try out shorter work weeks to see how that would impact them, hoping they would also be able to benefit from it.

Global experiments and insights

Today, an increasing number of countries and companies are experimenting with shorter work weeks. These trials aim to determine whether reducing working hours can maintain or increase productivity, improve employee happiness, and enhance overall company performance.

For instance, a big test in the UK found that working four days a week greatly reduced stress by 39% and burnout by 71% among team members. It’s worth pointing out that work productivity stayed the same or even… improved in some places.

Countries like Norway and Denmark, which are ranked among the most productive nations, already have work weeks shorter than 40 hours. In the Netherlands, many companies plan to keep shorter hours because they noticed that team members took fewer sick days. It’s also interesting to note that the Netherlands has the shortest average work week in Europe.

source: ec.europa.eu

The shorter working week initiative at .mta

At .mta, we decided to try the shorter working week starting in June 2020. Ever since, we’ve been working 7 hours a day instead of the typical 8, meaning our week is 35 hours long instead of the regular 40.

Why the change? Beyond just the desire to boost productivity, we wanted to show our team they’re our most valuable asset. Working at an agency can be very tough and draining—it’s all about staying creative, and it may be easy to feel burnt out.

We figured that giving our team more time to unwind was the key. We came to a crucial realization—everybody needs to rest and rebuild their energy levels. Keeping an eye on HR trends worldwide was also a driving force behind our decision and inspired us to make the shift and try out the shorter days.

“Our team uses a pretty sophisticated, advanced system and methodology for our internal analyses. It was very helpful in estimating the impact of a change on the 7-hour workday. We’ve always seen our people as the heart of .mta, and we’re no strangers to trying new things to improve their lives. We have been implementing innovative solutions regarding vacation days, special circumstances, sick leave, and self-management for a long time. We simply treated the 7-hour workday as another one of our advantages as an innovative company. We had our doubts, but we were excited to see where it would lead. It was another experiment, and in the worst-case scenario, we would withdraw from it, which fortunately did not have to happen” – says Jakub Krystkowiak, the CEO of .mta.

Despite initial concerns about whether we’d have enough hands on deck, the focus remained on enhancing the work model to attract people to work in our organization and retain those who had already been a part of .mta.

And financially? It might surprise you, but our hourly rates and overall profitability actually increased. Plus, our projects and client relationships weren’t harmed in the process either.

What are the main advantages of a shorter working week?

Of course, the main advantage of a shorter working week is increased productivity. People also appreciate having more time to take care of personal matters, such as meeting friends, seeing doctors, cleaning the house, or shopping.

Many studies have shown that shorter working hours with no reduction in pay can affect people’s happiness and mental health, resulting in a more vibrant team atmosphere. In general, working longer does not necessarily correlate to greater productivity. But what are the main benefits of the 7-hour working day from the perspective of the people in our team?

Key benefits of shorter working hours for the people of .mta

Many people in .mta highlight the key benefit as the increased opportunity for rest and relaxation, which they truly appreciate. The feedback frequently points to an improved work-life balance and more time available for personal interests, such as hobbies. Our team particularly notes a boost in productivity and creativity, which is vital in the dynamic environment of a digital agency.

Additionally, the flexibility of not sticking strictly to an eight-hour workday leads to higher motivation and reduced stress levels. Some practical advantages were mentioned as well, such as not having to wake up early and even using less electricity, humorously noting that even reducing work by one hour daily can significantly impact our everyday lives.

Summary

Cutting down on work hours can be tricky, but if you’ve got a team you trust and who shares the same core values, you’ll find you can only benefit from the process. This shift to shorter hours isn’t just the beginning of organizational changes—it’s actually the outcome of strong foundations you’ve built over time. When you have a solid base of trust and shared values, rolling out a shorter workweek becomes a breeze, and it really shows in the increased efficiency and happier team members.

Weronika Brodowska Junior Digital Marketing Specialist I have a deep passion for social media and copywriting, which fuels both my professional and personal endeavors. In my free time, you’ll often find me writing articles about the exciting sport of ski jumping, singing my heart out at various concerts, or studying Norwegian.

Interested in how a 7-hour work day works in practice?

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