Most Canadians would work longer days in return for 3-day weekends: poll
An office worker checks email during a lunch break at work in Montreal, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. (Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Seven in ten Canadians say they want a four-day work week -- even if that means working longer hours.
According to a new report from Angus Reid, 68 per cent of Canadians surveyed said that they would prefer to work 10-hour shifts if it meant they only had to work a four-day week.
That’s a growing desire across the country, up 25 per cent since a similar poll that was conducted by Gallup Canada in 1981.
The report, released June 22, also found that almost half of Canadians want to take the idea further, moving to a 30-hour work week.
It’s an idea that’s been put to the test around the world, and more recently in America. France adopted the 35-hour work week in 2000, while workers in the Netherlands average 29 hours a week.
In North America, the shortened week is being put to the test at such tech companies as Amazon, where a pilot program testing the 30-hour work week started in 2016.
The program saw certain Amazon tech teams working shorter weeks, while maintaining full benefits and 75 per cent of the salary of full time workers. Results of the pilot have never publicly been released.
The poll found that preference for a 30-hour work week was present across age and gender, with the largest factor in differing opinions being political affiliation.
The poll found that past Conservative voters were twice as likely (49 per cent) as past Liberals (24 per cent) and New Democrats (23 per cent) to say that a 30-hour work week is a bad idea.
It seems obvious that a shortened work week would find support amongst workers. But would the idea be realistic for employers?
According to Ryan Lewenza, Senior VP & Portfolio Manager at financial services firm Raymond James, it all comes down to whether employees could do the work in that time.
“I think that’s what it comes down to, is productivity,” Lewenza told BNN Bloomberg. “If you can deliver the same amount of output in four days, we should probably look at it.”
But Lewenza says that shortened work weeks could also benefit employers, potentially raising employee morale and resulting in fewer sick days.