Comit becomes the first Irish PR agency to adopt a four-day week.
Dublin tech specialist PR and communications agency Comit is to create 15 new jobs in PR, digital content and communications consulting as part of a €200,000 investment.
Comit’s new four-day week is the first element in a significant innovation programme being rolled out by the PR agency. It will lead to the creation of 15 new jobs in PR, digital content and communications consulting.
“This decision has come about as part of a well-thought-out innovation process whereby we reviewed and reimagined our working model”
The company will also invest €200,000 in digital transformation, training and new service development. The digital transformation investment will fund the introduction of a suite of productivity, automation and other digital tools, which will enable team members to be more productive. The funding will also enable the PR agency to invest in new digital and data analytics services for clients.
Founded in 1997, the Dublin-based PR and communications agency is on a strong growth path and has built up a significant customer base including technology and tech-oriented organisations spanning areas including cybersecurity, managed services, fintech, data centres, consultancy, software development, communications, location intelligence, sustainability and Ireland’s start-up ecosystem.
Employees, clients and other key stakeholders have been consulted about the four-day week to ensure a smooth transition to the new way of working. Comit’s four-day week initiative will initially be trialled for six months and will see staff remain on their existing salaries.
“This decision has come about as part of a well-thought-out innovation process whereby we reviewed and reimagined our working model,” said Comit founder and managing director Allan Chapman. “As well as maximising flexibility for our team and prioritising wellbeing, we wanted to identify new ways to enhance the value we deliver for clients and how we deliver our service.
“It is important to stress that this is not a compressed approach to the 4-day week, whereby team members will be asked to squeeze 40 hours into four days. Our aim is to empower and support people by giving them more time that they can use to do the things that they enjoy.
“We carried out a very detailed planning and research process, which included speaking to international PR agencies who have already implemented a four-day week, as well as our own employees and clients. The clear message from this was that happy, energised employees are more focused, more productive and achieve better results. The four-day week will also enable us to attract and retain the very best PR, digital and communications professionals as we grow our team and roll out innovative new services.
“We are very excited to reveal this four-day week initiative and announce the investment in our growing team as we approach the milestone of 25 years in business this year. We see this move and expansion as being great for the business, great for the team and great for our clients,” Chapman said.
How to develop a 4-day working week for your business
Allan Chapman, managing director, Comit
Writing in his company blog, Chapman said that the business participated in the Breakthrough Innovation programme run by Dublin BIC.
“We did it so that we could reimagine our working model to maximise flexibility for our team, while finding new sources of customer value and innovation, and better ways to deliver our service.
“We looked at how our lives have changed so dramatically since the pandemic hit. We all have started to enjoy more flexibility, more time to ourselves and more with our families and friends. The ways we interact and work have also changed.”
He continued: “The four-day week was one of three breakthrough innovation plays that we committed to from the programme. At first, a four-day week seemed like it could be very difficult to achieve: could we be the first PR agency in Ireland to move to a four-day week, while maintaining full pay and the same productivity levels and service?
“We were unsure, but the more we looked into it, the more people we spoke to who have done it; the more we thought about our own team, their maturity, and the hugely positive impact it could make on them; and the more it seemed like it might just be possible.”
With some adjustments, Chapman emphasised how the goal of a 4-day-week can be achieved without compressing people’s schedules or reducing pay.
“Our solution is to always have at least one person in the office on a Friday, and if something emerges that needs to be attended to – managing a crisis situation, issuing a press release, or attending an event, for example – we will take care of this.
“I should stress that we are not going for a compressed schedule, where people are expected to compress 40 hours into four days, and we are not asking people to work more than the usual eight-hour day, however there will be times when people may want to put in a little extra to ensure that we can make this trial viable for the long term. This will only work if we are able to deliver a service to customers as and when they need it. We all understand that this will mean that every now and then, we need to fire up the laptop or meet a client on a Friday, or maybe plug a couple of extra hours in at some other time in the week so that we can maintain our productivity goals.”
Main image: Comit founder and CEO Allan Chapman