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The Best Formula For A Productive Workforce? 4 Day Work Week + Health Insurance

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The idea of a 4-day work week is gaining popularity in Canada. Can it work to keep your business healthy? Can your employees remain as productive? Yes – especially if you add in the support of health insurance.

Yes, standard business hours in Canada are 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week. While some industries are federally regulated, such as banking and air transportation, other industries such as engineering, dentistry, and the medical field are permitted to work outside of standard working hours, according to the needs of their business. On average, most people work 37.5 hours per week.

But, according to advocates, a 4-day work week has its advantages for your company’s health and your employees’ health too.

Facts and figures to consider about a 4-day work week

The Statistics Canada report A four-day workweek: Some facts and figures to consider  notes that a four-day workweek require some flexibility on your part as an employer.  It might mean increasing staff numbers and wages – but if you plan on growing, you likely already plan on increasing your staffing group and, like almost one quarter of business owners, you do plan to offer flexible scheduling or increase wages.

The concept of a 4-day workweek is to continue to pay for a ’40 hour’ contribution while only requiring 32 hours of work. While all that sounds like a big expense, the advantages can be significant for your employees:

  • time spent on sick days drops
  • there is reduced work stress
  • they have extra time for exercise, sleep, and socializing
  • they save on gas, lunches, and childcare.

The 4 Day Work Week Canada  initiative aims to prove that a 20% reduction in work hours, without pay cut, can still sustain 100% productivity for you as a business. Their studies from around the world have shown that a reduced workweek doesn’t mean less output, because productivity increases.  Here’s what they have discovered:

Higher work intensity

People naturally work faster when they have less time. When employees are better recharged by time spent away from work, they are more motivated to complete work tasks effectively and are better equipped to stay focused and make the most of their work hours.

Fewer Sick Days

Employees are able to take better care of themselves, attend their medical appointments or care for their loved ones during their personal time off, and this reduces their chances of burnout. The less absenteeism in a company, the greater your overall output.

In the 4 Day Week Global pilot program conducted across the U.S. and Canada companies saw an 8% rise in revenue with a significant 37.55% increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

In August 2019, Microsoft Japan tested a four-day workweek for their 2,300 employees, maintaining the same pay. The results were impressive, with a 40% increase in productivity, more efficient meetings, and happier employees. The trial saw a 25% reduction in employee time off and other direct savings: a 23% decrease in electricity usage and paper printing dropped by 59%.

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Will a 4-day workweek work for you? Or is health insurance your first step?

While the 4-day workweek schedule may not suit your company, research strongly emphasizes its benefits for employee well-being, reducing burnout, and significantly boosting productivity. If your company is flexible enough to implement this transition, it’s worth considering.

What is tried and true for increasing employee well-being and boosting productivity is offering health insurance benefits to your team. Health insurance benefits provide a return on investment by helping you retain your team and helping your team to be productive.

While many small business owners cite cost as a barrier to offering health benefits, there are options to contain those costs:

Choose a group health insurance package specifically designed for small groups

As a financially attractive compensation feature, health and dental insurance helps your team members – new or existing – save on healthcare costs not covered by their provincial government plan, including expenses like prescription drugs, dental care, hearing aids, vision care and massage therapy and much more. And it helps to keep them healthy and productive when they are more able to address their health concerns with less worry about the cost.

Replace your group health with individual health and dental coverage

Individual health insurance can be core healthcare protection or be used to enhance your group health plan with the features your employees want most. It works to help ensure employees will not hesitate to take care of their health and be able to stay productive. With family coverage your team will be less distracted about the out-of-pocket burden if their spouse or children get sick or are injured too.

A variety of individual health insurance plans are available to full-time, part-time or contract workers regardless of any current health conditions.

Let SBIS help put the right pieces together for your business

When you want to put the right pieces in place to add up to more productivity for your business, SBIS helps with the insurance end of the equation with options including:

  • GMS Group Advantage, a health and dental plan specifically designed and attractively priced for small businesses with at least 3 employees. Group Advantage plans are designed with premium stability in mind, which means you won’t see a big premium hike when your plan renews. You can choose from Silver, Gold, or Platinum health plans to cover health, vision and prescription drugs and add on dental care for services ranging from routine and basic, to major procedures and orthodontic services. Every plan includes the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). Your employees can go online for interactive tools, health and wellness assessments, child and elder care locators and personalized content and education. For even more support, employees and their family members are offered confidential counselling when they face difficulties and lifestyle coaching to help them with day-to-day challenges.
  • HealthPlus Insurance that is available to your workers regardless of where they work or what stage of they are at in their career. They are eligible to apply up to their 75th birthday and stay covered to age 90 (travel to age 75). Health coverage options include drugs, dental, vision, emergency travel health, semi-private hospital, massage, physiotherapy, psychology, nursing care, medical equipment and more are available. With HealthPlus you may also choose family coverage, with adult children covered up to age 21 (or age 25 for full-time students). The monthly rates start at under $100 a month and the same rates apply at any age, start low and don’t automatically jump every 5 years due to age (unlike some other plans).

Want other small group health plan options? Want to consider individual health plans? Talk to us at SBIS. We have access to almost 50 different plans from many major insurance companies like Manulife, Greenshield Canada, HealthPlus and GMS – so we can give you and your team members the best chance to find a plan that suits their needs and budget. And with many guaranteed acceptance options and no medical questions, enrolling is seamless and hassle-free.

Learn more about small business health insurance information and our offerings here or contact SBIS for your free, no-obligation quote or information package that will add up to improving the health of your employees and your business.

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