Spreading your working hours over five, six or seven days is now an option for thousands of employees at Arup, a global design and engineering company, based in London. In this episode, Isabel talks to Diane Thornhill, Arup’s HR director for Emea, about the company’s “Work Unbound” seven-day work week experiment in Australia and the UK. Diane talks about the importance of senior leaders ‘leaving loudly’ themselves. That means signalling publicly that it’s OK to step away from the desk and take flexible time off.

But how does a seven-day work week affect teams’ communication and collaboration? And do people really want to be able to work all the time? Isabel chats to the FT’s Emma Jacobs, who has written on Arup, about the perks and pitfalls of an always-on work week. Plus, the importance of transparency - in a flexible workplace, it’s vital to be open with our teams about where and when we are working. Is that always a good thing?

We love to hear from you: email us at workingit@ft.com or Isabel directly at isabel.berwick@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter or Instagram.

Mentioned in the podcast: 

Emma’s article on Arup’s seven-day work week 

https://www-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/content/1405cb93-6625-4834-ac07-09e4062e7aa7

Arup’s own website https://www.arup.com/news-and-events/arups-new-hybrid-work-model-allows-6000-uk-employees-to-choose-their-working-days

The FT’s Sarah O’ Connor on the mysterious decline of our leisure time 

https://www-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/content/9df289b9-d425-49e6-899f-c963b458625f

Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.



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