Workers welcome shortened work week, research study finds

December 17, 2021

Joseph Lyons, director of Western’s local government program

Joseph Lyons, Director of Western’s Local Government Program (Photo by Rob Rombouts)

Municipal staff in Zorra Township are so satisfied with a four-day work week that almost three-quarters of them would like to extend the innovative experiment.

Seventy-three per cent of employees say they would like to continue working a compressed schedule, Western University’s Joseph Lyons and York University’s Zachary Spicer told Zorra Township council in a presentation this week.

In the pilot project, staff were on the job for 10-hour days, four days a week. Some worked Monday to Thursday and others worked Tuesday to Friday, which also meant municipal offices were open longer hours, at no extra cost to taxpayers.

A post-pilot survey showed employees most appreciated how a compressed work week offered them flexibility in managing work/life balance.

Staff in the Oxford County township, population 8,138, were satisfied with their employment with Zorra before the pilot, and this satisfaction remained consistent throughout and after the pilot.
Joseph Lyons

“A potential lesson here is that organizations with good culture and strong leadership are more likely to be innovative,” said Lyons, director of Western’s local government program and a political science professor.

Read the full story by Jeff Renaud at Western News