- The epidemic of COVID-19 triggered a change in the workplace. By requiring people to work from home, it highlighted that traditional office models aren’t the only way to get things done.
- One employee chose to work five days a week since her daycare would not accept the extended work hours, according to MacLeod.
The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a shift in the workplace. It demonstrated that typical office models aren’t the only way to get it done by forcing individuals to work from home.
Workers in Canada and also around the world are seeking more flexibility in terms of where they work and so when they work, and many employers have responded.
Many people were surprised and delighted when several firms in Ontario adopted four-day work weeks, a phenomenon increasingly being taken seriously around the world.
The United Kingdom has inaugurated the world’s largest four-day work week initiative, allowing thousands of employees to begin without losing pay.
“Over the last several years, what employees and individuals have learned has entirely re-envisioned what work-life balance means to them,” said Michael Halinski, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Toronto Metropolitan University. “The four-day work week is just another extension of allowing employees greater flexibility regarding how they want to operate, when they want to operate, and how they want to work,” says one employee.
“I believe that employers who can match those criteria will be the most successful.”
Jamie Savage, the founder of Toronto-based recruitment firm The Leadership Agency, said her company would switch to a four-day work week in October 2020 to promote improved mental health among employees.
The firm was among the 1st in Toronto to implement the strategy.
“Our productivity improved by nearly 200 percent. Our revenue more than doubled. Six months after introducing a four-day work week, we expanded into the United Kingdom,” she said to CTV News Toronto.
“It’s been a huge success.” It’s not something we’ll be doing away with. We’ve made it clear that we’ll never return to a five-day work week.”
The amount of hours staff work each day did not rise as a result of the four-day work program, according to Savage. She also stated that it had no bearing on their pay.
“We decided not to ask for anything in return,” she explained. “We adjusted our total productivity model to make it more successful, and we were more active Monday through Thursday.”
“We had holes in our productivity model that we quickly filled with technology and communication capabilities, giving them far more time back in their day.”
Zorra Township, London, Ont., also was one of the first in the province to implement a four-day work week, which began as a test project in December 2021 and was made permanent in December 2022.
Zorra’s chief administrative officer, Don MacLeod, told CTV News Toronto, “It’s been going extremely well.” “I believe our mental health in the office has improved.” People are in a better mood. It’s tremendously boosted morale in the company, and everyone is looking forward to their long weekends.”
Employees’ workdays were extended from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. under the model selected by the township. To achieve the 35-hour-week requirement, the town also eliminated one of their paid breaks.
According to MacLeod, because her daycare would not accept the increased work hours, one employee elected to work five days a week.
“I would say that one disadvantage of the new model would be for parents who cannot get daycare for those hours,” he said. “However, we have a strong consensus that most individuals like the flexibility.”
Source: CTV news
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