How We Work Now: Media Minefield

How We Work Now: Media Minefield

Behind the Minnesota public relations firm's shift to a four-day workweek

Kristi PiehlMedia Minefield returned to its Minnetonka office after Covid lockdowns with a required two days in person per week. Most employees got in the habit of planning their office days around team meetings or client visits. Founder and CEO Kristi Piehl started questioning whether that was flexible enough, and ultimately encouraged her team of 47 to shift their mindset to a four-day work week.  

  • Free Wednesdays. “I started thinking about the best use of my time. I freed up my Wednesdays and realized that I’d go for a walk and come up with a great idea. Incredible things happen when you have time to process and think. Wednesdays became my restoration day—to do board work, mentoring meetings. For me, it was about my mindset.” 
  • Creating a new schedule. “We talked about closing the office one day or assigning teams different days. Then we realized we were over-engineering it. This is about shifting the mindset—we call it 4M. For some, that might mean leaving at 3 p.m. to pick up kids; for others it might be a set day without meetings. The goal is empowering employees to take ownership of their own time.” 
  • 4M vs. vacation. “During 4M time, we don’t expect you to be on Slack the whole day, but maybe you check in every couple of hours. If there’s a crisis, you respond. If a non-urgent request arises, you can say, ‘I’m taking some 4M time—how about tomorrow?’ During a vacation, we want employees to have their emails forwarded [to a colleague] and not respond.”

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