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Times Are Changing

Written by: Lauralee Schmidt, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

In May of 2020, right at the peak of when businesses were either closing up or finding a new groove due to Covid, we made a major business decision that could have potentially hurt us, but we took a leap of faith and committed to our idea. We decided to take our growing auto shop from a Monday to Friday, 8-5 shop and make it a Monday to Thursday, 8-7 shop.

This is pretty unheard of for the auto industry, considering most run a six-day workweek, but I felt in my gut it was important to tell a different story in automotive care, and I’ve always wanted to be able to give our team a 4 day work week. I wasn’t sure how to make that happen. I just knew I wanted it. I’ve been asked a lot over the last few weeks on why our auto shop switched to a 4 day work week from both clients and other business owners, so here you go.

Prior to being Queen of the Auto Gods at Schmidt Auto Care, I had my dream career going in cosmetics that was an 80% travel with a Fortune 500 Company. I made my own schedule in that role, and after a lot of tinkering with it, I learned I was the most productive on longer but fewer days. I hit goals when I worked a 4 day work week, I had more ideas within a 4 day work week, and I felt more energetic in my role. I was happier. In fact, I was more productive in my home life, as well. I felt quite strongly I couldn’t be alone in that scenario. So when I took over Operations at my husband’s auto shop in 2016, I knew I wanted to change how the team worked, but there were other business priorities to attend to first, so the idea sat on the shelf a long time.

In late 2018, I could feel the urge to move the team in a new direction. We had a solid team, a growing customer base, and our brand was solidified in the community, but I still couldn’t comfortably guarantee I could keep the business safe with new working hours. I had a dollar figure and customer count in mind that I wanted to achieve before we moved to new hours, but I still wasn’t sure if it was the right time. On top of that, we were smack dab in the middle of a massive build-out to relocate the shop, so I wasn’t sure moving to non-traditional hours was smart. Looking back, it probably would have been the perfect time to switch hours.