The four-day work week movement is picking up steam, with companies across Canada and beyond choosing to infuse more life into their work-life balance.

One of the first Canadian companies to go public with their decision is the Toronto-based Juno College of Technology (formerly HackerYou).

CEO Heather Payne told Curiocity in an interview that after running the company for ten years while juggling her responsibilities as a mom of three, she decided it was time for a change.

“Last summer, I had this epiphany,” she said. “I’ve put a lot of time and energy into my company over the past ten years, it’s my baby. But life is about a lot more than that.”

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Payne was inspired to make Juno College a “trailblazer” in the four-day work week movement to give staff more time to prioritize what’s important to them outside of work.

After 10 months of planning and gathering employee data, Juno College made the slow transition to permanently shortened weeks this past June.

The college now offers in-class instructions four days a week, with self-directed learning every Friday, allowing all staff to take the day off.

However, it wasn’t completely smooth sailing the whole way through. According to Payne, some employees actually resigned when they heard the news.

“For us, fast growth is not that important. We do grow, but Juno is not a rocketship, nor will it ever be,” she said.


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“Us proclaiming that the four-day work week was the direction we were going sent a message to some folks who were interested in that hyper-growth career that this isn’t the kind of place where they would be able to get that.”

Most employees were thrilled about the transition, but Payne admits that everyone has had to adjust to busier workdays to make three-day weekends possible.

“The biggest challenge is scheduling meetings. It can be really tough to find an opening because people’s days are jam-packed,” she said.

“It can definitely be tricky when there’s a big project that needs to be undertaken. It just slows things down a little bit.”

But, there’s no question that the tradeoff is worth it. In fact, most of her staff say they’d never work for a company with five-day weeks again if they can help it.


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Overall, it’s clear to Payne that a four-day week is the right choice. Their sales and productivity have practically stayed the same, even with 20% fewer working hours.

But, according to Payne, our society is not yet built to allow all companies to successfully pull it off.

“Capitalism doesn’t allow businesses to be closed on Fridays,” she said, adding that it won’t truly be possible “until people’s expectations of each other change.”

Payne said that Juno College plans to publish the results of their first full year with a four-day work week “in hopes that it’ll inspire other companies to give it a try.”