One meeting-free day a week makes a crucial difference
New work models are being tested after corona, especially working from home. For Chairman of Finansforbundet Kent Petersen, Mondays have been a meeting-free work-from-home day for years.
“Can it be Monday?”
The answer is a clear no if it’s about holding a meeting with Chairman of Finansforbundet Kent Petersen. With very few exceptions, he always keeps Mondays meeting-free.
“I introduced meeting-free Mondays after I was on sick leave for stress just over two years ago. It gives me a sense of calm throughout the week to have Monday reserved for getting to the bottom of the inbox - and have time to read and prepare for the week’s meetings”.
The Chairman estimates that he receives up to 100 emails per day. The most urgent emails are pulled out and answered, the rest he leaves, safe in the knowledge that he can get to them on Monday.
“I typically start Mondays by reading and answering emails. After that, I read and prepare for the week’s many meetings, and finally I make calls to the extent needed in the afternoon. I pretty much stick with this structure”.
It took some time to get the organisation and close collaborators used to the fact that Mondays are meeting-free in the Chairman’s calendar:
“I don’t know how many times I must have heard people say I’m just taking Mondays off. It’s said as a joke, but when you’ve gotten sick from the way you were working, it’s actually not very funny”.
Kent Petersen finds that he is far more efficient and better able to take time off on the weekends with Mondays meeting-free:
“In the past, I often worked all Sunday. Now I start the meeting week with a clean slate on Monday. I have a good sense of what I need to do, I have read a lot of material, familiarised myself with things and my batteries are more charged for the rest of the week.”
One day is the thing
The President therefore wants to stick to the current structure, but has no plans to increase the number of meeting-free days or days working from home:
“It doesn’t work for me to do it more than one day a week. It might work for others, because it is very individual what is optimal for each person”.
At the same time, he points out that the projects Finansforbundet has participated in via the Future Work Lab have shown that either too many or too few days working from home can cause mental imbalance.
“It’s important that we keep testing things and see what works best. Both in individual companies and for individual employees, and what provides the best mental well-being. We still have a lot to learn on that front”.