Springwater Township Pilots 4-day Work Week
Every weekend will be a long weekend for the employees of the Springwater Township. Springwater joins a growing list of Ontario communities testing out a 4- day work week.
The township of Springwater to shift all employees to a 4-day work week for a 5-month trial period starting April 25th. Through this pilot program they aim to create a happier and healthier work force improving work-life balance and increasing employee morale. Employees who choose to participate in this program can work longer days and take either Monday or Friday off maintaining their 35 – 40 hour work weeks.
‘The Covid-19 pandemic has been a real trigger to rethink the world of work’ said Jeff Schmidt, CAO Township.
If there is anything that we have learned from Covid-19 is that workers are able to move away from the traditional work setting and continue to be productive. We are capable of adapting to new environments, balancing priorities and creating efficiencies when given the opportunity and resources to do so.
A 4-day work week enables people to spend more time on themselves and with their loved ones. People are able to pay more attention to their mental and physical well-being. Not only does it increase employee satisfaction, organizational commitment and teamwork, even better it has a positive impact on productivity and company output. Some of the benefits reported by companies that have trialed the 4-day work week are:
Increased Productivity & Better Employee Engagement
Microsoft’s Japan offices trailed a 4-day work week and saw a whopping 40% increase in productivity. The Society of Human Resource Management reports that 60% of organizations that adopted this model experience higher productivity and increased employee satisfaction. A better work life balance reduces stress and encourages employees to use their time and company resources more efficiently. It has also shown a reduction in sick leaves and absenteeism.
An Equal Workplace
Many employees may not be able to work full-time due to a chronic illness, childcare needs or other conflicting personal priorities. The majority of this group typically comprises of women. A 4-day work week promotes an equal workplace providing employees with flexibility in their schedules and the means to spend more time on themselves and with their families creating a healthier work life balance.
Employee Retention & Company Attractiveness
A happier and healthier work force displays greater commitment to the organization leading to an increase in employee satisfaction and retention. This in turn also attracts a broader talent pool.
As with everything a 4-day work week may also have some cons as this is not a one size fits all solution. But with proper planning, research and trial & error an organization can successfully test out this model and expect to see increased productivity, efficiency and employee engagement.