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Do you want a four-day work week? 68 per cent of Canadians say they do

WATCH: While Quebec party leaders are attempting to woo workers on Labour Day, a new survey shows that Canadians would rather be working longer hours. As Global's Cora MacDonald reports, they are in favour of working longer days in exchange for longer weekends.

While political leaders were working for Quebecers’ votes on Labour day, some Montrealers were indulging in the idea of more four-day work weeks.

Montreal resident, Vanessa Boily, is a hair dresser in the city and is already operating on a four-day work week.

She said she loves it.

“It’s just so nice to have three days off,” Boily said. “You get so much more done.”

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In a recent study, 68 per cent of Canadians across all age groups were found to prefer the idea of working four 10-hour shifts per week, instead of five eight-hour shifts.

READ MORE: Should Canadian workers have the ‘right to disconnect’? Question studied as Liberals plan labour code rewrite

Perpetual Guardian, a company known for helping people with their wills, trusts and estate plans in New Zealand, let employees choose to take any of the five work days during the week off, but asked them complete all of their tasks within four days instead for a four-week trial period. 

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The company insists the test weeks led to greater work life-balance and less stress for their employees.

Moshe Lander, an economics lecturer at Concordia this fall, said the reduced hours mixed with the workload is likely to have one of two effects.

WATCH: New poll finds Canadians support longer work days and shorter weeks

New poll finds Canadians support longer work days and shorter weeks
New poll finds Canadians support longer work days and shorter weeks

“If you put people on a four-day work week, their productivity is going to drop off. That’s going to add to the stress of having to get things done,” Lander said. “On the other hand, the idea of a three-day weekend is really enticing to people, so that may motivate them a little bit to work more.”

Lander added it can quickly become stressful, due to various other sectors that aren’t yet built to operate on a four-day schedule.

“School is built around a five-day week like work is, so there’s a certain aspect to your work-life balance where you drop off your kids go to work and then pick up your kids from school and go home,” Lander said. “If you are not working one of those days, what are you are going to do with the kids during that time?”

READ MORE: Women work more than men and it’s impacting their health, study says

Though the New Zealand company did release findings stating that its trial was successful, the four-day work week hasn’t been fully implemented there yet.

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Lander told Global News he believes it’ll take a little more time before Canadians work a little less.

“It’s feasible, but there’s a tremendous amount of changeover that has to be done.”

 

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