Television staff

Aycliffe company plans to do four-day weeks for its staff

The BTS team

Newton Aycliffe’s manufacturing company BTS Facades and Fabrications has condensed its working hours into a step towards a four-day working week.

BTS, which provides facade and rainscreen products to customers across the country, changed from a 40-hour workweek to a 37-hour workweek, without its employees’ wages falling. be affected.

It took six months to plan and roll out the new work program, after the topic was discussed at one of the company’s committee meetings, where a handful of BTS team members made comments. suggestions for improving employee satisfaction.

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Phil Atkinson, general manager of BTS, says he wants to do what he can to make his company an attractive place to work and wants existing staff to enjoy being there.

“If you take care of your staff, they will take care of you,” he said.

“I am confident that this new working model will be very successful due to the hard work of my team, as well as studies on increasing productivity in a shorter week.

“I’d like to think we’re leading the way in the North East by becoming a modern company that puts people first.”

Michael Butterworth, project coordinator and committee member, said: “I think it’s great. It’s a sign that we work for a progressive company that values ​​and trusts its employees.

Philip Atkinson, General Manager of BTS. Michael Butterworth, Project Coordinator

“It gives the whole team the ability to schedule appointments without intruding on working hours, and it’s ideal if you want to go away for the weekend as we can leave early on Fridays.

“It’s just good for the work-life balance. The whole team is feeling really positive and we can’t wait to see more flexibility in the future.

The new contractual hours mean that BTS office staff will now have the option to leave at 1 p.m. on Fridays, while reduced hours from operational departments will be accommodated on a rotational basis. Nigel Freeman, BTS’ COO and head of the committee, managed and enforced the reduced hours, and is responsible for assessing the impact on productivity.

He said, “I am committed to modernizing our working practices to ensure the team has the best possible experience at BTS.

“If the new work scheme proves to be a success and does not hamper the productivity of each team, and all the objectives are achieved, it will prove that we can move towards an eight-day fortnight.

“We are already working on productivity improvements for each department and taking steps to eliminate non-value adding activities within the organization using project management styles like LEAN principles.”

Nigel was appointed in February to improve the company’s efficiency, and since his arrival his team has continued to achieve its goals.

The trial will be evaluated at the end of this year, and the senior team members, including the BTS committee, will decide how to move forward towards the shorter workweek.

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