Business Forum | The truth about four days a week

I get the impression it will never be enough! How far should I go? »


I was dismayed at my client’s voice on the line. I had just announced my decision to implement a four-day week for my employees. I run a company that specializes in human resources, which is probably why my ad got so many reactions. I have received praise, but also comments from entrepreneurs who are interested in my initiative.

Let’s just say: Four days a week isn’t the “flavor of the month,” according to a recent UK study reported on Journalism Sept. 26. Most of the 73 companies that participated in the four-day-a-week pilot said they experienced no loss in productivity with their employees. Many have even noticed a significant improvement in their performance.

The big question: is the 4-day week really the answer to keeping our employees motivated, and increasing the productivity of our Quebec business? Many entrepreneurs remain confused. Does the four-day week inflate the phenomenon of employee kingship? Do we really need to review our ways of doing things for employees who are shopping for their jobs?

I understand employers’ concerns. We are in a society that highly values ​​individual well-being and the balance between work and family, entertainment and Netflix. A company that encourages employees to ask and above all to demand more.

The truth is that by always putting employees first, we tend to forget the entrepreneurs and managers who keep companies at a distance.

Because these women and men do not allow themselves four days a week, even if they give it to their employees! I speak knowingly: Nothing has changed in my schedule, even though my employees rest three days a week.

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Let’s be clear: the role of an entrepreneur has never been this difficult and this is the source of anxiety in the four days of the week. The pandemic, inflation, and shortages of labor and raw materials add unbearable pressure on the already overburdened shoulders of entrepreneurs, to the point where many are even considering giving up everything.

However, employers considering the four-day workweek should consider it a tactic in their HR artillery. Each case is unique. Every company lives its own reality. Each core of the staff has its own dynamic.

It is much easier to implement the four-day work week in an accounting firm than it is on a construction site in Montreal or a manufacturing plant in Bose. No, this is not the miracle solution. Let’s say: The 4-day week is just one of many options for employee motivation and retention.

Here’s my message to entrepreneurs: the discussion on the four days of the week should be an invitation to your creativity. Can you be creative to take better care of your employees? What benefit can you offer them that would make a real difference to their motivation, productivity and well-being? What initiative allows you to breathe better?

Let’s listen to those who make wealth in Quebec. It is up to all of us, including their employees, to never forget entrepreneurs. Because it takes healthy companies so that employees can take advantage of the four days of the week.

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