Lowe’s gives full-time store staff the option of a four-day work week
Lowe’s is giving full-time workers in its stores the choice to schedule four-day work weeks.
The home improvement made the decision after its five-day schedule left many associates complaining about an inability to find a balance between their personal and work lives as a result of having very few consecutive days off, reports Business Insider.
Lowe’s in 2019 instituted a program that gave workers a full weekend off every eight weeks. As a result, there were very few weeks when workers had consecutive days off. Complaints about the system led Lowe’s to offer standard five-day shifts for workers with more weekends off.
Workers continued to complain about the scheduling, which combined with short staffing levels and high customer demand caused many to feel physically, emotionally and mentally drained on their days off.
Lowe’s introduced the new four-day scheduling option last week to provide “more flexibility and consistency” in associates’ schedules, a company spokesperson told Business Insider.
Lowe’s and other retailers continue to operate in a business environment where workers have the upper hand in negotiations, despite some recent layoffs, primarily in automotive and tech, that some believe indicate the beginning of a shift back to companies.
A recent Wall Street Journal article noted some of these developments, but pointed to five factors that make it likely that the ball will stay in the workers’ court for the time being. These included the fact that open positions are currently running 54 percent higher than during the same period in 2020. Job openings remain higher than the number of workers available to fill them and the number of part-timers looking for full-time jobs fell by more than 700,000 last month.
In a new survey from Legion, 85 percent of hourly workers said that it’s important for them to have control over their schedules. Their managers, by and large, feel the same, with 63 percent saying that giving hourly workers more input into their schedules is the biggest incentive they have to offer when recruiting new employees.
Apple, according to Bloomberg News, in early June told store associates it would provide more flexible scheduling going forward. Changes include imposing a limit of three days per week that workers are allowed to work past 8 p.m. and reducing the number of consecutive days they can work from six days to five.
- Lowe’s workers say ‘chaotic’ scheduling effectively killed their weekends. Now the retailer is offering 4-day workweeks to ease the pain. – Business Insider
- Apple to Improve Working Hours for Retail Staff After Union Push – Bloomberg
- The numbers say it is still a workers’ job market – RetailWire
- Study: Flexible scheduling challenges are keeping store managers up at night – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How popular do you think a four-day work week will be for full-time associates working in stores? What will this system mean for stores seeking to schedule part-time help?