ontario 4 day work week

Toronto tech company with 500 employees is introducing 4-day work week

While four-day work weeks have long been a norm in Europe, North American society and its love for capitalism and over-productivity still struggles with the idea, though the model doesn't always equate to less. hours worked, and can just mean more hours per day for fewer days.

But, as the pandemic prompts great change in the work world and life in general, new trends are emerging, including the adoption of hybrid work-from-home options for the long term, and in the case of some companies, fewer days on the job.

A handful of local businesses have recently tried out the four-day work week to great success as support for the idea grows, and a big Toronto-based software company is the latest addition to brands that are testing the model out.

Alida has decided to switch from the typical five day a week, eight hour a day schedule to a four-day week without a set number of hours, though workers are expected to keep up the same level of productivity for the same salary and benefits, hopefully in less time given the longer block of time off.

The software company's CEO Ross Wainwright told the Globe and Mail this week that the switch was a direct result of the health crisis, during which his staff were increasingly reporting burnout and less-than-ideal working conditions while out of the physical office.

Though it's a trial to be implemented in July, the four-day model will hopefully become a permanent thing across the brand's offices, which span nine cities worldwide beyond its Toronto and Vancouver spaces — and which are hiring at the moment.

Wainwright did add to the news outlet, though, that if productivity seems to drop as a result of the pilot, the company will have to reconsider the plan moving forward, but that he doesn't think that will be the case.

"The pandemic has been a real trigger for rethinking the world of work. We’ve been listening to our employees over the past year and have heard how they want and need more flexibility to take better care of their mental health," Wainwright said in a press release on the subject.

"Employees today are juggling burnout, constantly changing government restrictions and their families’ health and safety. Our goal with this trial is to further establish a culture where we celebrate balance with increased flexibility and trust, resulting in happier and more productive employees."

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