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ICE is an owner managed SME, headquartered in Galway. It is a Recruitment Agency, a Further Education and Training Provider (FET) and a provider of Outsource Backroom Process and Services, working with clients throughout Ireland and internationally.

Founded in 1972, it employs 45 fulltime people, 30+ contracted trainers and an average Agency Workforce of 1,000pw.

Company Statistics

Organisation type: SME

Employees: 45 (fulltime)

Location: Galway (HQ), Limerick, Sligo, Dublin and Sydney

Promoting Workplace Wellbeing – The Process

ICE believed that the introduction of a four-day working week would promote better work/life balance, improve work and home wellbeing, result in more energy and focus on working days and ensure that everyone was enthusiastic about coming into work every day.

A number of steps were taken to prepare and support the launch of the four-day week initiative:

  • A review of work practices, legislative compliance and employee T+C’s was conducted
  • A ‘Pessimist Committee’ was established to identify barriers, challenges and solutions
  • Staff booklet prepared to explain concept to family and friends
  • Announcement to staff at Extraordinary SMART DAY
  • Facilitated workshop, where 120 ideas to drive success were generated
  • Staff and Business Units developed detailed plans on delivery
  • HR with staff developed the ‘4dayweek Etiquette Charter’
  • Benchmarking recorded
  • Staff wellbeing survey completed
  • Staff signed trial agreement

Various methods of measurement were used to evaluate the progress which was measured at different points throughout the trial and beyond.  Following the mid-trial review, the decision to implement the four-day week permanently was confirmed at board level.


  • Such a new concept – how does it/will it work?
  • Everyone received a booklet describing the 4-Day Week concept and project trial rollout with all foreseen Q&A
  • Following the initial announcement there were a number of productivity measure put into place to account for identified challenges.


  • A significant innovation in this ICE initiative is to provide five days’ for four days’ work arranged with a three-day weekend every week.
  • Project Development & Implementation time: Introduced new HR Systems to track timekeeping including project time.

The cost of the system was enveloped by its savings in manpower and efficiency in producing reports.


  • Created a culture that allows people to go home from work vs a culture that draws them more and more into the workplace
  • Made a real difference to the quality of life for our employees and society in general
  • Made a contribution to reducing our carbon footprint
  • Share the ‘Wins for a better Quality of Life’
  • Drive change in Irelands ‘Future World of Work’
  • Reduced attrition
  • Reduced single day absenteeism
  • Increased productivity and employee wellness
  • Enhanced culture of positivity
  • Began the 4dayweek conversation in Ireland
  • Changed the lives of our employees and their families

Key Learnings

  • Align your workplace wellbeing goals with the overall strategy and culture of the organisation
  • Starting from nothing? Keep it simple – focus on what is easy and has the most impact when beginning from nothing.  There are lots of free resources online
  • Get everyone involved! Management/HR can explain the Wellness intentions and budget info, and then ask the employees to come up with ideas – what would they like to see?  A simple free survey will get you plenty of a start here
  • Remember your Core Values – Your focus should be relating the wellness initiatives back to your organisational goals.