Grand Challenges Canada

Increasingly, there’s been buzz around the idea of moving away from the traditional 9-5, Monday-Friday work model, especially in innovative sectors and non-profit organizations. With more employees working from home, growing discussions around employee mental health and work-life balance, and growing disenchantment with the five-day work week model, the four-day work week has been hailed as a way for organizations to adapt to a changing work landscape. 

A recent Devex article explored how Grand Challenges Canada and other non-profit organizations like STOPAIDS and Friends of the Earth Global, have experimented with implementing organization-wide trials of the four-day work week. For the past six months, GCC employees have been working a four-day week, while still executing 100% of their work productivity and maintaining 100% of their compensation. 

“We’ve been hearing positive feedback about the four-day workweek pilot from employees and stakeholders alike,” says Tracy Smith, senior director of people and culture at Grand Challenges Canada. “It has given people license to prioritize their time differently”.  

Research suggests that organizations lose countless hours each week to inefficient processes such as unnecessary meetings and poor task prioritization. By consistently evaluating the productivity of tasks to help save time, the four-day week provides a laboratory for experimenting with new, innovative approaches to the workplace to decrease inefficiencies and save time. 

Earlier this year, employee self-report data in the UK demonstrated that 39% of employees participating in four-day work week trials experienced less stress, and 54% reported better work-life balance during the trial period. Employee anxiety and fatigue also decreased, alongside an improvement in mental and physical health. Employee retention rates across organizations also increased by an average of 57% during the trial period, indicating increased rates of satisfaction with their work. 

Read the full Devex article on lessons learned from the four-day work week in the non-profit sector, featuring insights from Grand Challenges Canada’s experience: