Working weeks just got a whole lot shorter, for this town at least. Guysborough in Nova Scotia is testing out a four-day week for employees in the town, starting June 15. The move is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, says the municipality's chief administrative officer.
The nine-month pilot project began on Monday June 15th and will give about 60 municipal employees either Mondays or Fridays off.
The municipality's council unanimously passed the motion on June 2, reports the Guysborough Journal.
According to the Canadian Press via Global News, the initiative is a result of a reorganization that was needed due to COVID-19, according to Guysborough CAO Barry Carroll.
During the pandemic, Carroll shared that municipal employees have already largely been working for a day less each week, spending two days at the office and the other two at home.
"This is an idea that spawned out of that system," he told CBC.
About 60 employees, split into two groups, would alternate. One would work Monday to Thursday and the other from Tuesday to Friday.
Their hours would remain the same, just in a condensed workweek and in a longer shift throughout the day.
Very interesting that Guysborough, Nova Scotia is using its 4-day work week pilot to expand service hours. The… https://t.co/xiMDK6lIgc— Sonia Furstenau (@Sonia Furstenau) 1591995209.0
According to Carroll via the CP, this will also allow municipal offices to stay open five days a week while giving employees more family time.
Carroll has had no complaints from the effective employees, and an offer to stay at five days per week was not taken up by a single worker, he told CBC.
This also means that day-to-day service hours will be lengthened.
"By having less days, it increases our productivity for them because they can stay there longer hours," Carroll notes.
The pilot is set to be reviewed at the end of January, at which point Guysborough will decide if the change should be made permanent.
While the Nova Scotia spot is the first place in Canada to test it out for a length of time, the idea of a shorter week has been floated in other parts of the world already.
Countries like New Zealand have discussed implementing the change. Talk of the same happening in Canada has been around for years now but has been given a renewed focus in the time of COVID-19, according to Global News.
Carroll sees the appeal, calling it "kind of a win-win."
But, unfortunately, unless you work for Guysborough, it's probably too soon to start dreaming of your own regular three-day weekends.