The advantages of working a four-day week as opposed to a five-day week have received a lot of attention. Making 32 hours the norm rather than 40 can boost employee wellbeing without reducing firm productivity.
Many in the tech sector are now doubting the five-day workweek since the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered the workplace. A four-day workweek is one suggested remedy, which some people think will revolutionize office productivity and employee happiness. The four-day workweek is not a one-size-fits-all model, though; implementing one can harm teams if they fail to address underlying problems with their workplace culture. Compressing the workweek and eliminating flexibility may make burnout worse in situations when teams encounter significant levels of friction in their development processes.
Teams should put a better developer experience first before implementing this change.
Invest in DevOps procedures and tools
Leaders must keep in mind that time is only one component of the equation if the move to a shorter workweek is intended to increase team happiness. Long hours alone do not cause stress; instead, the quality of those hours contributes. Developer burnout cannot be resolved by merely cutting hours.
By recognizing and eliminating their significant restrictions, engineering teams can increase the quality of their work. One way to address these bottlenecks is to invest in self-service tooling that enables developers to write and test their code without interfering with other team members.
DevOps teams can begin incorporating self-service tools right away in areas like environment provisioning and automated test suites, which aid developers in building and testing changes more quickly. Lack of automated testing leads to poor-quality code, which raises the possibility of outages and unforeseen work. The necessity for time-consuming manual testing can be diminished through test automation. Additionally, it facilitates the discovery of bugs early in the development cycle, assisting teams in reducing rework.
As DevOps teams improve, they can automate every step of the deployment process. Developers follow their code through the release process rather than waiting for specialized deployment teams. For instance, they can encourage the usage of feature flags to facilitate rollouts, automate deployments to increase their success rate, and offer end-to-end visibility and logging to facilitate quicker debugging.
Also Read: The 2022 State of Developer Shortage
Continuous documentation and asynchronous communication
Giving developers the flexibility and freedom to choose their own schedules for a better work-life balance is one way that enterprises can improve the developer experience.
Most teams just require a short period of time during the workday when everyone is online and ready for collaboration and meetings. In reality, given that they are frequently free of interruptions and distractions, early mornings and late evenings are when many developers like to work. Asynchronous communication and continuous documentation are two new cultural practices that teams might embrace to support schedule flexibility.
Asynchronous communication allows developers to share more in-depth updates about their work through emails, pull request comments, and project tickets, which the rest of the team can read at their convenience. Meetings are the last resort for collaboration, not the default. Ideas that are more prone to disintegrating during meetings or online conversations become more solidified when they are written down.
For instance, developers can record demonstrations of their modifications when seeking input on open pull requests. Instead of setting up meetings or texting peers to review their work, other team members view these updates when they are online.
When documentation is updated seldom, it becomes stale. As a product is updated, every team member should be in charge of continuously documenting their code modifications. When team knowledge is readily accessible and updated, developers don’t have to wait for other team members to be online to get the information they need.