June 7, 2022

As UK workers test 4-day work week, that’s the norm for one Spokane company

SPOKANE, Wash. – Thousands of workers in the United Kingdom are testing out a four-day work week.

It sounds new and exciting, but it’s already happening at one Spokane company. 

Community Minded Enterprises is an organization specializing in addiction recovery and child care programs. 

For about a year now, its employees have worked 32 hours a week or 64 hours per pay period. Despite fewer hours worked, they still get paid as though they were working 40. 

Community Minded Enterprises thought about the policy as a way to make it easier for staff to work through COVID. The organization started having its employees work from home, and now they get to choose between the two.

All but two of its departments are on the 32-hour work week. They plan to transition all employees to that new policy soon. 

Communications Director Jill Johnson says it has been a journey for the organization to acclimate to.

They have had to hire more people to fill the holes but ultimately found it beneficial on the employer’s side in retaining and attracting employees. Employees also say they found more of a work-life balance. 

“I am a cancer survivor, so I have doctor’s appointments. I don’t have to worry about being gone for a little bit because I can go and finish up my appointment and finish up my projects in the afternoon. So, that’s really been nice,” Johnson said. 

The biggest challenge was communication and getting comfortable knowing that not all staff are always present and able to respond quickly. The organization has also had to figure out a new set of expectations through the shorter work week. 

Chief Executive Officer John Hindman just started with Community-Minded Enterprises this week. He says he sees the benefits of s 32-hour work week, as one of the missions of the organization is to give employees work-life balance.

“The motto of always coming into one place all the time has kind of gone by the wayside now,” he said. “It’s a new era. We want to meet that era and what can we do to help our staff and be at home as much as possible and get the work done.”

Employees don’t necessarily have to work four days. They can spread out those 32 hours as they want. They just have to meet their workload and hour expectations. 

READ: The world’s biggest 4-day work week pilot begins in the UK

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