- Future Access will begin a 4-day work week trial starting June 1, 2020.
- During this trial, staff will work Monday through Thursday, from 9 am to 5 pm.
- Project deadlines will not be affected.
- Tricia and Chris Tollins will be available for telephone calls, emails and meetings on Fridays.
- Emergency support will continue to be offered on evenings and weekends.
- Should the 4 day work week be deemed successful, we will extend the trial until the end of August and re-evaluate.
A Post-COVID Workplace
As Ontario rolls out its plans for reopening businesses, companies are starting to consider what a post-COVID-19 workplace will look like. At Future Access, we’ve put considerable thought into keeping our employees safe while ensuring our clients are receiving the level of service they’ve come to expect from us.
Some of the ways we’ve adapted to COVID-19 include:
- Continuing to allow for staff to work remotely;
- Staff who opt to come in have their workstations sanitized frequently;
- All high touch surfaces in the office are sanitized often;
- For Staff and Clients’ safety, all in-person meetings with clients have changed to virtual meetings through Zoho Meeting, Google Meet, Zoom, Go to Meeting or other platforms.
We also look at the current situation as an opportunity to address commonly held beliefs. One of these (long-held) beliefs is offices should be open between Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm. Although this concept is ingrained in Canadian culture, it’s assumed the most effective method for both Staff and Clients. We have to question ourselves and ask:
“Is working five days a week the best approach in serving our Staff and Clients?”
With an evidence-based approach and in our constant efforts in creating the best possible work environment for our staff, we’ve decided to conduct a trial 4-day work week for June.
Starting June 1, our staff will work from Monday to Thursday, from 9 am to 5 pm.
Why Have You Decided to Conduct this Trial?
There are a variety of reasons, including:
Better Work-Life Balance
Giving employees an extra personal day allows them to work on personal projects and hobbies and spend more time with families. Working long hours contributes to stress, which in turn can have negative health effects on employees. Improved work-life balance helps employees be healthier and ready to work.
Employees are more productive when given time to rest and relax adequately. Employees will be less burnt out from long working hours and will be more productive at their jobs.
Competitive advantage for hiring
A four-day workweek is also a competitive advantage for employees as they value work-life balance and flexible scheduling.
What Are You Basing this Information On?
Microsoft Japan did a great case study for the benefits of a four-day work week in the summer of 2019. Employees there worked four days a week while receiving their regular five-day paycheque. They reported increased efficiency across the business. Decreased electricity usage, fewer meetings held, and fewer pages printed helped contribute. Microsoft reported this all resulted in a 40% productivity boost across the business. Microsoft Japan isn’t the only business or country that has tried this either. Another well-known example is of a New Zealand trust management company called Perpetual Guardian. After switching to a four-day work week with a normal week’s salary, they reported a 20% gain in employee Perpetual Guardian also saw a 27% reduction in work stress levels and a 45% increase in work-life balance. In examining the results, they decided to make the policy permanent.
What if I Need Support?
On Fridays in June, telephone calls and emails will still be answered by the owners, Tricia and Chris Tollins, for support, just as there is currently support for critical issues on evenings and weekends.
Will My Project Still be Done on Time?
Yes! We’ve been expecting the transition to a 4-day work week and have based our timelines on that assumption.
Is This Permanent?
We’re conducting the 4-day work week as a trial. It’s a new concept for everyone, so we want to ensure we’re meeting the needs of both staff and clients alike. Should the trial prove to be successful, we will extend it until August 31 and re-evaluate then.
Is the 4-Day Work Week a Cost Saving Measure?
No, staff wages will remain the same. The 4-day work week is to better the health and wellness of our staff while ensuring our clients receive the same quality service.
The 4-day work week trial begins in June, where staff will continue to work Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 5 pm. Tricia and Chris Tollins will continue to be available for telephone calls and email on Fridays, with emergency support offered on evenings and weekends.
We will evaluate this trial in the month of June by ensuring:
- Clients’ needs are consistently met;
- Milestones and deadlines are being achieved on time;
- There is a net-zero negative impact on business;
- Employee satisfaction increases; and,
- There is a significant increase in productivity.
Future Access believes a 4-day workweek is an ethical business decision for our staff that will have no negative impact on projects or clients. We’re excited about this endeavour and hope this trial will become permanent.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at (905) 323-9818.