More companies are getting on board with the 4-day work week and joining the movement is the Toronto-based charity VIBE Arts.

VIBE Arts is a non-profit that’s dedicated to providing arts education and artistic mentorship to equity-seeking groups.

On May 1st, the charity officially implemented its shortened week. Employees now only work 32 hours from Monday to Thursday and continue to be paid for 40 hours.

Executive Director Katie Hutchinson told Curiocity in an interview that part of what motivated their decision was to give employees more time to work on their side hustle or artistic passion.

“More than half were working second jobs to make ends meet including me,” said Hutchinson, adding that their employees “need time to work on their practices and put time into the passion that VIBE Arts is working to cultivate.”

The decision was also a financial one. Hutchinson explained that limitations around funding salaries in the charitable sector prevent them from increasing
salaries in a sustainable way.

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While it’s not a direct solution, the shortened week allows employees’ needs to be met in a different way by giving them more time to pursue other priorities.

Although their 4-day work week just started, Hutchinson says that the team is already noticing the benefits — and the challenges too.

“Working with people outside our organization or community organizations poses some challenges,” she said.

“Many corporations operate in an urgency culture that a 4 day work week sometimes doesn’t align with.”

“If you send us an email Thursday afternoon we may not get back to it until Monday.”

VIBE Arts hopes that by saying no to “urgency culture,” there be fewer mistakes and miscommunications.

“We hope our 4-day work week will mean hard work for 4 days and hard rest for 3, leading to better quality work, happier employees, and a better impact
on our participants.”

“My approach is always human first because when we take care of the people doing the work, employees will buy into your mission and vision more,” said Hutchinson.

“I’m trying to walk the walk.”