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4-day week preferable, aids employee retention and well-being, new poll shows

Click to play video: '4-day week preferable, according to new poll; some employers are on board'
4-day week preferable, according to new poll; some employers are on board
A four-day week may be gaining mainstream momentum in corporate Canada as workplaces continue to fine-tune post-pandemic schedules and working conditions, new research suggests. Brody Ratcliffe has more. – Feb 27, 2023

A four-day week may be gaining mainstream momentum in corporate Canada as workplaces continue to fine-tune post-pandemic schedules and working conditions, new research suggests.

A survey by recruitment firm Robert Half found 91 per cent of senior managers polled said they would support a four-day workweek for their team.

“We’re seeing a tremendous amount of people working flexible hours, working flexible schedules but they are saying, ‘I’m actually working a little bit more but I’m very happy doing that,’” said Michael French, national director at recruitment firm Robert Half.

Read more: ‘Four days a week is a great experiment’: work options examined in Calgary

Most managers also anticipate their company will transition to a shorter working week within the next five years.

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Among workers polled, nearly three-quarters said they would put in four 10-hour days in exchange for an extra day off a week.

Robert Half found that in a survey of senior managers 85 per cent of professionals preferred hybrid models and one in four postings are now saying jobs are remote.

Hybrid work models are being explored across the country. Dave Parsons

Offering workers the option of a four-day workweek could support employee retention, productivity and well-being, the research found.

“When it comes to hybrid and remote, the day can be different. You can have windowed working, you can drop your kids off at school, you can pick them up, coach soccer on Tuesdays, coach the hockey team on Thursdays. And that’s become very, very important to parents,” French said.

Click to play video: 'Navigating the push and pull of getting back to the office'
Navigating the push and pull of getting back to the office

Oftentimes people stress about keeping a strong work-life balance.

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“The hybrid workday or four-day workweek really has a positive impact on their quality of life and I think in today’s society people are looking for that quality of life as well as that career,” said Tony Plater, CEO at the Regina Chamber of Commerce.

Read more: A four-day work week can be ‘life-changing.’ Should Canadians get one?

While a four-day workweek might be the right fit for some people and organizations, Plater said it’s not a one size fits all solution.

But not every business can look to make these changes.

“There are some businesses that it works really well for, retail not so much, or if you are a service industry that you need to be out and about in somebody’s home,” Colleen McCallum said. “Longer shifts and a shorter week would be awesome.”

– with files from The Canadian Press

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