Since the beginning of the year, the founder of Cognito, Jan Janča, has returned to the position of CEO as a full-time colleague.
Original article: here
Together, they have begun to implement a new strategy that includes the introduction of a four-day work week in addition to the ongoing changes in the service portfolio and communication. We asked what led them to do so and what they expected from this change.
“When I talk to a corporation on a four-day workweek, his first reaction is usually to say that it’s less work for the same cost, or less work for the same income,” says Jan Janča, CEO of Cognito. He adds, “Without the right attitude from all the people in the company, it may be. But you have to think about a 4-day working week primarily as an increased degree of freedom gained in exchange for higher degree of personal responsibility. ”
/ interview with Jan Janča and Mark Bosák /
Why did you introduce a four-day working week?
Jan Janča: It has many reasons, but I see three main ones. First, it is a natural development. It’s like going from high school to university. You go from having a fixed schedule and teachers holding you accountable, to optional lectures where you have great freedom and your grades depends on your responsibility and attitude. You have prepared for the exams and learned the essentials for your future work. I may have matured to college later, I graduated from the first year of the first high school and sat at the computer programming everything that was unrelated to the subject of study, but I believe that our colleagues are strictly university types who do not go mad from freedom.
Secondly, it is about changing personal preferences and the composition of the company. Most people in the company already have, or are waiting for, children to spend quality time with. If you’re still recovering from your workweek on Saturday, and you’re planning a Monday meeting on Sunday, it’s not ideal. Friday, where you can get a working fade out, arrange everything for the weekend and just appreciate it. Those who don’t have children have hobbies, running, bike, traveling, beer…
And thirdly, work should also be fun in which you can also create relationships with your colleagues. The idea that you only go to work to get a paycheck is scary for me, and I think it’s equally scary for colleagues. Our free Fridays are thus a common workshop where the company team can, if it wants to do it, on their own projects, where all participants will be directly involved in their own commercial success. It’s something they say, I think, “inner business.” Basically, it is possible to start an internal start-up without all that bullshit around and with a team of people you know and love.
Marek Bosák: Honza has already said most of it, I would just add that we have had free working hours in the company, which means that if you manage to do your job, you don’t have to be a quarter of your office time. In my opinion, focusing on this quarter of the working day to one day is a change for the better, because 4 days you work intensively and it is up to you how you will use the fifth day if you have everything done. The internal projects are undoubtedly not only fun, but also motivational. Honza has extensive experience in the start-up scene, so we can learn from the business strategy as well. Other senior colleagues, through project work, pass on their field expertise.
What do you expect from this news?
Jan Janča: More satisfied people, higher efficiency of work and a lot of new ideas. The introduction of a 4-day working week does not mean simply deleting 8 hours from the weekly work fund. It is the commitment of everyone to complete the tasks in 4 days, which is only possible if management is involved in project management, reporting and general awareness of the company and their projects.
Greater comfort and more free time and time for your own projects or entertainment is then a secondary effect. God rested on the 7th day, which we at Cognito do as well, but we think and play instead of plowing the field on the 5th day.
Marek Bosák: I have read about the experience of companies that have already switched to a 4-day working week in a row and have not gone bankrupt. They say that they have significantly improved their work efficiency and reduced their company stress levels. People realize the value of their own time and the time of their colleagues and start thinking more about what they do.
So you were inspired abroad?
Jan Janča: I did not look for the inspired inspiration in a company, but as it was said in my childhood: “Who does not steal, robs his own family”, so of course I borrowed some thoughts and principles and asked for people who are smarter and in introduction more experienced than I do. I had to get caught by Honza Mayer from DATAWEPS and I read something in books published by Tomáš Baránek. Actually, a four-day work week is just the beginning. I would like to be in building a company based on respect, equality and freedom, whose prosperity will be based on fulfillment