Joined in: 2018
Job title: HR Business Partner
As we officially move into Autumn and leave Summer in the rear-view mirror, we caught up with Aaron to get his thoughts on our Summer Fridays initative and what he learned from it.
September is here and I’ve spent some time reflecting on how one simple initiative from Advanced has given me time and freedom to rest and reset. Each week during July and August, everyone was given half a day back as a thank you. This was typically on a Friday afternoon, but where people couldn’t for whatever reason, the half-day was another day in the week. Having the time back and finishing at midday was such a breath of fresh air, and helps you to learn some valuable lessons that I otherwise might not have. Here’s my three biggest takeaways from our Summer Fridays:
Unblur the lines
For many people, 2020 redefined what a “normal” working day looked like. Working from home every day meant it was just that bit easier to finish some work after dinner, or to check emails on a quiet weekend. The lines between work and home-life became increasingly blurred. Even in a “normal” year, having time to switch-off and give your mind a break is essential, and having support and encouragement from our leadership and teammates to take the time back on a Friday afternoon went a huge way to helping to unblur those lines.
Find something you love doing
I took the chance during Summer Fridays to learn something new! This isn’t going to be for everyone but finding myself with more downtime meant I wanted to put it to use doing something and I picked up sewing! It feels as you get older you have less time to spend on self-development, so having the extra time to do with as you want was a great jumping off point for learning something new. I’m still a beginner for now, but the sheer fact that I had the time to learn something new without eating into the weekend was a great feeling. Next stop: making my own shirts!
Make the most of your time
On the face of it I thought it was counterintuitive; having 10% less time each week and needing to do the same amount of work seemed a little absurd. But in practice, the reality was very different. Knowing you’re finishing a little earlier on Friday when the sun is shining all week helps to pull you through those moments where usually the day would get a bit tougher. I found I did just as much work (if not more) in the same amount of time.
Ultimately, it is not about how much time we have in a week. In the immortal words of Gandalf the Grey; "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."