Canadian companies scrapping eight-hour work day: report

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People have proven over the last 21 months that they can work from home – and some of that was during a time when children and perhaps even elderly parents were there, too.


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As a result, many Canadian companies looking to retain workers are embracing new ways of operating, including providing employees with flexible schedules.

Research has shown that over the last 18 months, some companies are rethinking nine-to-five and ditching the eight-hour workday.

Nearly half of senior managers (48%) surveyed indicated they already give employees the ability to choose when they work, according to Robert Half, a talent solutions and business consulting firm.

Of those surveyed, 31% are OK with their direct reports putting in fewer than 40 hours a week, as long as the job gets done.

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Managers who are most likely to offer flexible schedules work in large companies with 1,000-plus employees and those who have remote teams.


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Despite that freedom, a survey of more than 500 workers found that some people are still overworking, many of whom (61%) say they still need at least eight hours a day to complete their work, according to Robert Half.

What’s arguably most troubling is 52% of respondents feel obligated to respond to messages and requests immediately – during breaks or when they’re supposed to be off the clock.

“Although companies are offering greater flexibility to support employee well-being, managers don’t always have line-of-sight into their team’s workload,” said David King, Canadian senior district president of Robert Half.


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“An employee with a long to-do list may feel pressure to work non-stop, which is why organizations must do their due diligence prior to introducing flexible schedules,” he added, citing regular check-ins and auditing processes can help employers determine what work arrangements work best.

Burnout is real, and along with the stress that comes with a global pandemic, people’s physical and mental health is increasingly becoming a priority.

“Employer support is critical to mitigating burnout, but employees are also responsible for establishing a healthy relationship with work,” said King. “Workers can protect their time by setting clear boundaries, keeping open lines of communication with their manager, and raising concerns as soon as they arise.”



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