A four-day work week can be ‘life-changing.’ Should Canadians get one? – National

A 6-month trial of a 4-day work week significantly reduced employee stress and illness compared to a 5-day work week. British studies I found.

The research was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK, Boston College in the US, the London-based think tank Autonomy, and 4 Day Week Global and the 4 Day Week Campaign in the UK.

A total of 61 companies and about 2,900 workers participated in the pilot, which ran from June to December 2022, making it the largest pilot of an idea to date.

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The study found that 39% of employees felt less stressed after a four-day work week exam, and 71% had reduced levels of burnout at the end of the exam.

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“Similarly, levels of anxiety, fatigue and sleep disturbances decreased, and mental and physical health improved,” it reads.

Of the 61 companies that participated in the trial, 56 said they were continuing to work four days a week, and 18 confirmed that the policy was a permanent change, the report said.

Joe O’Connor, director and co-founder of the Toronto-based Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence, says the idea of ​​a four-day work week isn’t just changing the number of hours people work, it’s changing the way people work.

O’Connor, former CEO of 4 Day Week Global, told Global News:

“They also attack wasteful processes and low-value-added activities, such as long, unnecessary meetings such as distractions and technology use during work hours.

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O’Connor added that a four-day work week has been proven to motivate employees to achieve company goals.

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“The four-day work week has been very life-changing and very transformative for employees, making them very focused and highly motivated in achieving company goals and objectives,” said O. ‘Connor said.

The study also found that companies’ revenues remained unchanged during the trial period.

For the 23 organizations that were able to provide data, the study found a modest 1.4% increase in company revenue on average.

In addition, revenue for the 24 companies that were able to provide data increased by 35% compared to the same six months in 2021.

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O’Connor said there has been growing interest in Canadian companies moving to shorter workweeks in recent years.

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“This is a growing global movement and we see a real opportunity for Canada to be at the forefront of that movement,” O’Connor said.

A survey released in January found that 91% of senior executives in Canadian companies surveyed said they would support a four-day work week for their teams.

Nearly three-quarters of workers said they would work 10 hours four times a day in exchange for an extra day off per week, according to the survey, published by recruitment firm Robert Half. increase.

O’Connor said leaders ultimately have to decide if they want to be “positive trailblazers” in this global trend of a four-day work week.

“In my opinion, the world of work will not return to what it was in 2019. “The spirits have come out of the bottle. I think the future of work will definitely be shorter and smarter.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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