A 4-Day Workweek Was Tested By This Canadian Company & The Boss Says She'd 'Never' Go Back

Employees have the same number of vacation days and even got raises!

A 4-Day Workweek Was Tested By This Canadian Company & The Boss Says She'd 'Never' Go Back
Senior Editor
Courtesy of Jamie Savage, Courtesy of Jamie Savage

A Toronto business owner has described her company's move to a four-day workweek as "hands down the best business decision I've ever made."

Jamie Savage — who owns recruitment company The Leadership Agency — told Narcity that she may have been one of the first business owners in the city to implement a four-day workweek.

She says she recognized the need for change when her eight employees were "working more hours, struggling to create boundaries, and burning out." Feeling the same way, she implemented a four-day workweek on October 1, 2020.

"I knew that if I was going to do this, it couldn't be in exchange for something else," she said. "For example, I knew that for it to be effective I couldn't deduct their pay or decrease their vacation days."

Instead, Savage implemented a four-day workweek with the same compensation and exactly the same number of vacation days.

The company owner noted that it was important for her to lead by example. "No matter how much I stressed that this was our new way forward, if I didn't lean into and make a true intentional effort to show the team that I too was taking Friday's off…they wouldn't either."

So, how did it go?

Courtesy of Jamie Savage

She says the positive impact was seen and felt immediately.

A year after the new schedule was implemented, Savage told Narcity, "Our business has thrived since then and it was one of the best decisions I have made as an entrepreneur."

There were some challenges, including Savage herself taking a step back in order to lead by example. She also says it was essential that the company's global clients who work five days a week were still looked after.

"It required us to communicate effectively, stay flexible throughout the week to accommodate our clients' schedules, and be incredibly effective throughout the week," she said. "We have incorporated time management techniques and leverage technology to make us even more effective."

The change has been so effective that employees have since received promotions and pay raises.

"I will never revert back to a traditional five-day work week," Savage told Narcity. "I am so confident in my decision to do this and the positive impact it has had on my company that I am willing to put that in writing."

Employees at The Leadership Agency aren't the only Canadians enjoying an extended weekend, either. Companies and even whole towns across Canada are piloting similar schedules right now, as well as countries like Iceland, Belgium and Spain.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.