The normalization of the four-day work week across industries in Canada may be closer than workers realize, given how successfully the European model is going over in trials at various companies here at home.
Dozens of companies nationwide have been testing the alternative full-time structure — including quite a few in Toronto — and the outcomes of their one-year pilots are finally available courtesy of a new study from York University.
— blogTO (@blogTO) October 14, 2021
The institution surveyed a total of 30 businesses that trialled different versions of the four-day work week with their 3,500 employees — either doing the same amount of work in 32 hours instead of 40 per week, or compressing those 40 hours of work per week into four days instead of five.
And, what they found was pretty darn promising.
A whopping 90 per cent of respondents said that productivity at their firm stayed the same or even increased as a result of the new schedule, and 86 per cent noted that they found it much easier to attract and keep talent with this more progressive timetable.
Even better, 96 per cent said that their workplaces are happier and healthier because of the switch, and 93 per cent said they plan to continue with a four-day week indefinitely.
Researchers also position the framework as the future of work in Canada, pointing to a number of other studies about the growing movement to get rid of the standard five-day work week that has long been the default.
— blogTO (@blogTO) February 6, 2022
“This research shows that shortened and compressed work schedules often boost productivity and economic output, improve health outcomes, strengthen equity initiatives and reduce carbon emissions,” the report notes.
“No matter how you slice it, a number of recent studies point to growing support for a shorter and/or compressed workweek… Although not a panacea for all workplace ills, it may open up new spaces to strengthen worker bargaining power and create a more equitable and enriching future of work.”