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The Reverse Workweek – Our EX Approach

In August of 2020, six months into the challenging experiment of working remotely, we found ourselves at a crossroads. With Zoom fatigue, constant IM and email maintenance and just plain old cabin fever, we needed to arrive at a solution to reinvigorate the ranks.

We rose to the challenge by implementing our signature agile approach to problem solving. We call it Silicon Valley Thinking™. It manifests itself in a Swarm, which means getting everyone in the same room (or in this case, the same Miro board) to co-create solutions in real time.

The result of this team-powered, impact-making session? The Liquid Agency Reverse Workweek™

Referred to internally as the Two-Day Workweek, all Liquid Agency employees now show up and log on at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning and work a 20-hour shift until 2:00 a.m. on Sunday. Then, after a brisk four-hour break for sustenance and what some refer to as a “disco nap,” they do the same thing all over again: 6 a.m. Sunday until 2 a.m. Monday morning. Or night. It gets a little hazy.

The upside to the Two-Day Workweek pretty much goes without saying: five days off. Which begs the question, “How do we spend our free time?” Group creative director Paul Simón dedicates an average of six hours a day to mastering new recipes, the most recent of which is a beef Wellington (yes, he made the pâté, too). Associate strategist Carolyn Hamaker has enough to do just managing her 35 million followers on Instagram after a recent piece on social justice broke the internet. Senior social content strategist Ashley Heinonen bought a small horse ranch just outside Newberg, OR. She gives lessons and frequently competes in equestrian events (USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Champion, represent!).

The true embodiment of a pioneering spirit, this groundbreaking new way to get things done is very liberating. It does, however, take a bit of getting used to. Saturday nights have proven especially difficult for those who live in the more lively downtown areas of Portland and San Jose, with weekend revelry from the streets invading ear pods and noise-cancelling headphones alike. Spouses and significant others, we’ve heard, have voiced complaints. As have cats. Dogs seem unfazed.

“I sleep from 2:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Mondays. But hey, technically still a five-day weekend.” Scott Gardner, CEO.

Our leadership team, however, has nothing but glowing praise for the program, as evidenced by the quotes below.

“Spain recently instituted a four-day workweek, so we just decided to bring it stateside and double-down.” Dennis Hahn, chief strategy officer.

“I’m proud of our entire team for embracing the unknown. And for embracing the hallucinations during that second 20-hour shift.” Katie Wagner, VP of employee experience.

If you or your company are interested in adopting this approach, we invite you to reach out to Krystal Chellis, our director of people experience. She will be forthright and very clear about both the benefits and the hiccups involved with all five days of the typical workweek off in perpetuity. In the meantime, we hope you’re enjoying your April 1.

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