It’s been a while since we last sent any updates, and we hope you’ve been doing well. The pandemic has definitely impacted how we work, but one thing that has stayed the same is our drive and hunger to improve our overall work experience, both internally and for our clients.
As we pass the midpoint of the year, I’d like to look back on all the shifts within our company that took place along with the various changes in the world.
Over the past year, we’ve more clearly defined the type of work we do. We’ve doubled down on our core expertise, allowing for the consistent design, development, and management of digital transformation projects across the globe. In doing so, we’ve been fortunate enough to engage with a diverse range of projects at the intersection of design, technology, and organizational process. Still keeping with our human-centric-design principles at the heart of all we do, but bringing this to solve complex business problems in areas such as corporate strategy, project management, and digital products.
Secondly, to complement this broader shift, over the past year, a number of our senior team members and partners have been working as consultants within the international public sector to support their wider digital transformation efforts.
Finally, although our team has been as occupied as ever, there is one thing we’ve decided to try this year to find balance in our busy lives. We’re delighted to share that we’ve been testing a company-wide shift to a 4-day work week!
The 4-Day Work Week.
With work being such a significant part of our lives, at Mäd, we emphasize finding a healthy equilibrium between work productivity and personal satisfaction. It’s also one of our priorities to invest in making the company better, not only in terms of tools or the office but also when it comes to talent development and employee welfare. This, coupled with an attractive working scheme, makes Mäd a competitive workplace and enables us to build and retain a team of remarkable, talented individuals.
After researching the 4-day work week and considering our proven success with flexible work hours, we thought this shift would be the right step for our company. If you haven’t heard of it yet, the 4-day working scheme involves shortening the standard work week from five to four days, without making any changes to employees’ salaries and benefits.
Among its many perks, the 4-day work week has been praised for enhancing employees’ mental health and well-being, and improving productivity and engagement at the workplace.
Read the full insight below.
What We’re Doing.
Our approach to the 4-day work week at Mäd is simple: we’ll continue to maintain our flex-time arrangement, except we’re cutting down the number of days that need to be spent in the office. Essentially, this should aid the team in tackling their regular amount of work by boosting their productivity.
This gives staff members more flexibility in how (and where) they choose to manage their time, but also the challenge of accomplishing all their tasks to meet deadlines. Although the team will have to try to be more productive and focused during work hours, they get a full extra day off to rest.
This shift would not only benefit us at Mäd, but also enhance the quality of work we can accomplish for client projects. While clients may question our decision to reduce the time we spend working (and maybe even consider it a threat to our output), we expect the results to prove otherwise! A well-rested team is more likely to put their best efforts toward reaching project goals.
Because we prioritize our people’s happiness, we want Mäd to be a workplace where employees wake up in the morning and look forward to coming to work. This experiment is part of our strategy to achieve that goal by intentionally designing this space. It is an excellent step towards being more aligned with our company values.
Curious to know more? Head to 4-Day Week Global to learn more about the research, case studies, and things to consider.
Mad.co. Introducing our new website. We wanted to create a minimalist website that had a strong focus on long-form written content, enabling our readers to truly understand our type of thinking. Sometimes, less is more.
New Members. Over the past year, we’ve also grown our team. We’re excited to welcome Watanakwethyea Meas and Theara Kim to our product design team, and Alicia Khiem to lead our marketing and communications. At Mäd, we look for individuals with broad interests and skills that allow them to apply their knowledge to a variety of tasks. I like to refer to that as the ‘M’ shaped person, where the ‘M’ represents a person savvy in multiple areas of expertise (we talk about this in-depth here).
Team Updates. We’re happy to announce that Angelique Delamere, who was recently made Junior Partner, will be taking over as Lead UX/UI Designer. Kieran Glover, long-standing Senior Partner, will be stepping up to the Managing Partner position while I will be taking a step back from the day-to-day operations of Mäd, to focus on other opportunities. These changes will help us ensure that all client projects will always have the personal investment of one or more of Mäd’s partners.
Amret MFI (Advans Group). Over the last year, we’ve had the pleasure of continually working with Amret MFI and their parent company Advans group, as their digital roadmap continues to develop.
HungryApp (EFG). After working together closely for almost 2 years, we’re happy to share that we’ve recently signed a long-term agreement with EFG. Since 2020, we’ve been collaborating with EFG on their HungryApp project – a multi-brand food delivery app with exciting features (free, less than 30-minute delivery from several stores in one order). From conception, our experts at Mäd have handled the branding, design, development, and digital product strategy for HungryApp and its supporting digital infrastructure.
Chapterly. Focusing on human-centric product design, we had the opportunity to design the MVP of a brand new social reading experience that is on a mission to change how you read, write, collaborate, and monetize stories.
Blue. On behalf of our partners at Bloo, we’re excited to share that they are changing the name of their platform to Blue! Blue has now reached almost 6000 organizations worldwide. If you’re looking for an efficient way to manage projects and communicate with your team, try it out – sign up for free at blue.cc.
"How to Cultivate Deep Work in the Modern Workplace."Distractions are omnipresent in the modern world – especially if, like Mäd, your organization specializes in digital transformation. How can you avoid meaningless interruptions and unnecessary meetings while maintaining communication? Instead, how should you leverage your working time and daily routine to get the most out of your work? In April, Kieran, our Senior Partner at Mäd, hosted a masterclass at Startup Factory Cambodia. Building on his diverse experience, Kieran shared insights and best practices on how to encourage a culture of deep work in your company. Big thanks to Startup Factory Cambodia for having us!
The Mäd ‘M’ Shaped Person. To streamline our hiring process, we’ve come up with fairly straightforward criteria – hire ‘M’ shaped people. These are individuals who have broad interests, with multiple deep expertise areas. This is particularly important in a creative digital consultancy like ours: we want to keep our team agile, so we don’t necessarily look for candidates who are experts in one specific area but lack any other skills.
Systems Thinking. When dealing with problems, we tend to approach them on a case-by-case basis instead of viewing them as part of a larger system. This often leads to poor decisions and missed opportunities. We encourage business leaders to use Systems Thinking instead to get to the root cause of issues and find better solutions.
Prioritization for Leaders. A successful business is a marathon, not a sprint. But in our overactive society, we often confuse business with busyness – although busyness does not always result in outstanding business. Instead, learning how to prioritize, and being more intentional in problem-solving is what will help you and your company be two steps ahead – without sacrificing valuable time.
Case Study: Hungry?®. At Mäd, we don’t just sell pretty decks and reports; we execute and take our customer’s ideas to the market. Since 2020, we’ve been working with RMA Group and EFG to build the Hungry?® brand from scratch. As we’ve now moved on to developing the HungryApp website, we revisited our case study to see how far we’ve come together with our client: from an MVP to a fully functional app.
From the Web.
The Small Steps of Giant Leaps. Just like in problem-solving, we can also apply the systems thinking model to personal development: The position you find yourself in today is the accumulation of the small choices that you’ve been making for years. Learn how to take small steps – consistently. They will systematically compound over time, resulting in noticeable change.
Blue Webinar. Want to know how Mäd works? Jonathan, our Senior Partner and Head of Projects, showcases how he interacts with clients and manages projects using Blue. Learn how to make the most out of Blue’s project management platform and streamline communication.
We hope you’re as excited as we are for what these positive changes may bring about and what we can achieve as a team. We’ll keep you updated on our progress and share any curious insights and team feedback as we go through our 4-day work week trial.
Let’s have a great summer, and stay safe.
Before you go, we want to leave you with a sneak peek of some exciting projects we’ve got in store:
We’re getting close to releasing our very own handbook on how to Make It Happen™ and run a radically successful professional services firm. Get ready for a deep dive into the story behind Mäd and how we operate – teaching you how to #WorkLikeMäd and supercharge your entrepreneurial journey.
Are you a designer, developer, or project leader that struggles with getting things done in the proper order? Do you want to learn how to streamline the process? If design to development to client handover is a long-standing challenge for you and your team, fear not! Stay tuned for our soon-to-be go-to guide that will bridge the gap between design and development, and walk you through each step of the process.