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Traditional workplaces shifting to modified arrangements after COVID-19 pandemic

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WATCH: Now with the convenience and flexibility, many are looking to stick with new modified work arrangements. Meaning, the future of traditional workplaces have hit quite the shift due to the COVID-19 pandemic. – Mar 17, 2022

Traditional workplaces look a little different now in comparison to pre-pandemic times.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, employees were asked to set up their offices at home.

Now with the convenience and flexibility, many are looking to stick with the new modified work arrangement.

Saskatoon business, Coconut Software, even switched to a four-day work week.

Read more: Workplace culture needs to readapt as employees return to the office

Coconut Software CEO, Katherine Regnier, said, “We decided to do the four-day work week as we were dealing with COVID and the pandemic and people were just feeling really run down.”

The new work model was originally just a test, but once employees responded positively to the change, Coconut fully implemented the modified work arrangement.

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Everyone at Coconut is given the option to work in office or from home, whatever works best for them.

All employees who participate still make the same salary while working four days in a week, with eight-hour days.

Regnier made the switch because she noticed their productivity did not take much of a hit, and it gave workers more flexibility to get things done throughout their day.

“You may have work things, you may have personal things, but just giving them a lot of flexibility for their day I think was really well received,” said Regnier.

While a four-day work week has gone over well at the tech company, according to Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan, the federal government currently has no plans to bring in a similar policy for the whole country.

Read more: A look at Ontario’s timeline for lifting all COVID measures

Although, he is not shying away from the idea.

“For some people, pay is not everything. Sometimes it is about a work-life balance and figuring those things out and how do we allow for more of that flexibility,” said O’Regan.

A study done by Amazon Business shows 56 per cent of Saskatchewan and Manitoba employees did not end up working from home during the pandemic.

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However, Country Manager Nick Gerogijev said they are seeing a shift in the demands from employees who are still in the workplace.

“I think things are not going to go back to the way they were before in terms of the office environment. A lot of people are asking for more flexibility, employees are accustomed to and expecting something different from their employer and I think they understand now that in many cases the employer can provide the flexibility,” said Gerogijev.

Work flexibility is appealing to many.

Read more: Inverary, Ont. business moves to 4-day work week

This is according to a survey done by Maru Public Opinion which shows nearly 80 per cent of Canadian full-time workers would be willing to move to a four-day work week and with 10-hour days while receiving the same pay.

Regnier added in that the shift for her employees is also having a positive impact on her life as a full-time CEO and a full-time mom.

“The fact that we can go take a Friday to go to the bank and make those appointments without having to lug the kids with us is really nice.”

Moving forward from the pandemic, many companies may stick with the modified work arrangements.

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But with no plans in place from the federal government, many are continuing on with their current work modifications.

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