Canadians of all income levels seem more open to the idea of having a 30-hour or four-day work week.
A recent survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute found that 53 per cent of Canadian adults think it would be a “good idea” to have a shorter work week, while only 22 per cent disagree, and the rest are unsure.
Support for this idea is relatively uniform across income levels, but 64 per cent of low income earners approve of a four-day work week, while 47 per cent of high income earners ($150,000+/year) hold the same stance.
Approval of shorter work weeks also run higher than the average among those who have applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The concept of a shorter work week is a concept that has been discussed since before the pandemic, and is being piloted by various regions of the world, including a 9-month trial run in Guysborough, Nova Scotia.
Over the years, many studies have lauded the benefits of a four-day work week, but some critics contend that workers may not be able to obtain sufficient income through the traditional models of hourly wage workers and contract workers.
“The concept of a shorter work week, much like that of the universal basic income, finds its highest levels of support among younger Canadians, with six-in-ten of those ages 18-34 saying a four-day work week would be a good idea,” reads the Angus Reid study.
“Previous polling may suggest that the public’s opinion won’t waiver substantially in a non-COVID-19 context, with support for the concept maintaining higher than opposition since 1975.”
B.C. residents poll slightly above average in support of this idea, with only 18 per cent of respondents refuting it outright.
Across Canada, the most ardent opponents of a shorter work week appear to be those who voted for the Conservative Party with 40 per cent saying no to the idea.
64 per cent of Liberal Party voters and 67 per cent of NDP voters support four-day work weeks.
These results are based on a survey conducted between June 8 and 10, 2020, among a representative sample of 1,510 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum.