Culture, Process

10 Reasons Why Your Culture Should Adopt Freedom Fridays Right Now

White Lion — November 12, 2014

We define “Freedom Fridays” as a highly productive work day free of internal or external meetings where team members can choose to work where they want to work.

Here are the 10 Reasons why Your Culture should adopt Freedom Fridays:

  1. Gen Xers and Millennials alike – who doesn’t love a meeting free workday?
  2. As most team members work remotely you are reducing your teams’ collective carbon footprint
  3. You get to avoid Friday traffic as you are fully free to both plan your day and where you work
  4. Works as a great hiring benefit when talking about your company culture
  5. Allows you to power through work which may not have received enough time and attention earlier in the week — like slaying a blown up inbox
  6. Freedom Fridays sets you up for a smooth and enjoyable weekend transition
  7. The office on Friday is much more quiet for some great heads-down thinking and work for those who choose to come in to the office for the full or part of the day
  8. You will benefit from built-in time to think about and plan the next work week
  9. You now have a weekly rhythm to think strategically about your work
  10. You will truly look forward to each Friday and be much happier about your week

Let’s unpack the top ten list and provide context to what has delivered loads of value to the White Lion Interactive team.

First off, our culture places a high value on face-to-face discussions. When working on custom and complex web and mobile design and development projects, our team — working out of our downtown Austin office — benefits from being able to easily have ad hoc or scheduled in-person meetings when working to solve problems.  Research, like what was featured in a recent Harvard Business Review IdeaCast , continues to show how innovation, collaboration and excitement occurs at a higher rate when people gather together to work.

So how did the idea come about?  Once upon a time in February of 2013, Andrew Hamlin had an idea in a topic posted to our internal company forum titled, “When 5 becomes 4.” Andrew’s concept for improving our work culture was simple and as he defined it, “A 4-day work week in the office – 1-day at home.” The thinking was all about producing a focused day of work each week, free of meetings.

We debated the idea and decided to give it a try, and we haven’t looked back since. “Freedom Fridays” have become a core aspect of the White Lion culture as we reserve the day for work with no client or internal meetings scheduled unless very urgent — like with the launch of a new website. Overall it is very rare to have a scheduled Friday meeting. Most team members decide to work remotely while others prefer to come to work on Fridays.

So what do White Lion team members think about Freedom Fridays?

“Austin traffic is horrible. Austin traffic on Fridays is REALLY horrible.  So, I love the option of removing that frustration from my day and working from home (on Fridays).”
Tracy Hinson, White Lion Biz Dev

“I actually prefer coming in on Fridays because it seems more quiet here. I do enjoy the freedom to work from home when I need it though.”
Charlie Chauvin, White Lion Lead Designer

“The impact of Freedom Fridays on my personal productivity has been significant.  Having a full day devoid of meetings allows me time to not only get what matters done, but to also think strategically as well.  I genuinely look forward to every Friday!”
Steve Kahle (myself) Leader of the Pride

Our culture is all about accountability for our work and we have had zero issues around team members potentially slacking on Fridays.

So why wouldn’t you and your team implement Freedom Fridays at your organization?

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