BUFFALO, N.Y. — D’Youville College announced on Wednesday that it will be transitioning to a 32-hour work week.
D’Youville College held an all-staff meeting to answer any questions employees had and to kick off their policy shift.
According to the release, the college said moving toward the post-COVID era of flexible work, D’Youville has taken a different approach from the many colleges and universities offering work-from-home options, and more simply, adjusted the employee work week to be four eight-hour days without changing their pay or benefits.
“The world of work has changed, and we cannot go back,” D’Youville President Lorrie A. Clemo, Ph.D, said in a statement. “This is a multifaceted employee health and wellness initiative which we believe will ultimately benefit our students, employees, the institution, and our community.”
The college said the program will offer students uninterrupted services with expanded hours of operation, opportunities to interact with individuals cross-trained to have broader skillsets, as well as a campus community of people that are simply happier. Employees will enjoy a consolidated workweek that rewards technology efficiencies, reduces shared office density, and supports individuals’ pursuit of outside-of-work passions.
“This shift is propelled by technology and requires departments to move the dial on technology acceptance, professional development, and workflow optimization in order to remain eligible for the reduced workweek hours. While it may seem novel, it actually just aligns our organization to the average annual hours currently worked by European Union countries,” Clemo said.
The major principles of the program were described as:
- As a brick-and-mortar institution, employees will need to be cross-trained and schedules need to be organized in ways that “keep the lights on” for an expanded set of hours on the normal five-day work schedule.
- Employees will have an equal opportunity to schedule days off.
- Employees will need to identify and describe the workflow improvements that will be enacted which allow the current workload to be managed.
- Employees will be required to enroll in mandatory training programs and need to complete modules on an agreed-upon schedule in order to remain eligible for the benefit.
- All offices/departments will develop plans designed to address key performance indicators (KPIs) which measure the outcomes of their operations.
- All offices/departments will be required to establish a technological ticket system to queue, manage, assign, and report out of workflows in order to remain eligible for the benefit.
In regard to training, employees are being offered the first round of training in collaborative functions of Microsoft Office365 or in Google Certificates for Project Management and Data Analytics with American Council on Education approved college credits.
“We will be learning, and growing, and getting better together,” said Clemo. “At the end of the day, I’m very optimistic about how this wonderful benefit can serve as the catalyst to achieve long-desired optimizations within higher education, which, in the long-run, will allow us to improve services while managing our costs.”