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With the recent changes to work culture, many printers are wondering how to adapt. Multiple priorities have left leaders feeling overwhelmed, with employee recruitment and retention, staff health and wellness, increasing productivity, and growing revenue top of mind. A recent Canadian pilot of the 4-day workweek saw a 100% success rate, with evidence presenting an overall improvement to all of the above. But can it work in print?

Recently, Atlantic Canada-based printer, Rocket adopted a 4-day workweek after a successful pilot in 2022. The full-service print and communications firm demoed the model to the satisfaction of its 55 employees. As a result, team members have reported increased wellness, productivity, and job satisfaction since adopting the new schedule.

We caught up with Scott Williams, CEO of Rocket, for his insights on the initiative and advice for printers on adopting a shorter workweek.

Recruiting and Retaining Young Talent

Scott was motivated to try the 4-day workweek in order to appeal to younger talent. He was familiar with the initiative in the U.K. and its popularity with Gen Z and Millennials who value work/life balance and view a 4-day workweek as a selling point. A condensed workweek model was an opportunity to try something new in an attempt to get different results, be it attracting fresh talent and accommodating for an aging workforce. Since piloting the program, Rocket has recruited young talent, who see the company as aligned with their values and a “fit” for them.

Employee-First Approach

Allowing team members to participate and share their point of view is essential. Considering all staff as individuals and not assuming they have the same needs and preferences is also a must. Embracing the 4-day workweek has included a variety of preferred schedules. Some team members favour Fridays off, others prefer Mondays away. Some even opted to continue with a traditional 5-day workweek, or work on a hybrid work model. A step-by-step approach to implementing these changes is also advised as opposed to sweeping change in order to find the sweet spot for your employees.

Company Culture Matters

Leaders who implement current workplace trends are better positioned to attract and retain the right talent. The culture of the New Workplace is different from what Gen X and Boomers are used to, but it’s best to embrace for the future of your company. A post-pandemic workplace is seeing a rise in burnout, stress, poor sleep, and fatigue of its workers. Supporting team members wholistically – as individuals with obligations outside of work – has become the responsibility of employers if they want healthy and productive staff members. Promoting your modern workplace practices on your website, social media, marketing materials, etc. can make all the difference. Positive culture attracts the best employees!

The Proof

While it’s somewhat puzzling that shorter workweeks lead to increased productivity and revenue, we can’t argue with the facts of the Rocket pilot, or similar findings from the Canadian trial, “The evidence is in — shorter working weeks lead to happier and healthier employees, and the organizations that they work for are better positioned to attract and retain talent,” said Joe O’Connor, head of the Canadian-based Work Time Reduction Center of Excellence. “Through a commitment to operational excellence and a culture of continuous improvement, they can also create more productive and efficient businesses.”

Scott’s open-minded approach to leadership and willingness to implement new practices enabled his success. Piloting the program was trial and error but in order to get different results he knew he had to try something new. It all starts with a shift in perspective.

If you’re looking to implement a 4-day workweek and transform your company culture and recruitment efforts, contact us! Our team of experts is here to help.