CBC News: Condensed week could help workers reduce fuel costs

Jamie Strashin reports on CBC News

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

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The ever-increasing price of gasoline is prompting some companies to come up with creative ideas to help their employees reduce costs.

LSM insurance in Markham, Ont., for instance, has decided to offer employees a condensed four-day work week to reduce the cost of commuting.

Elizabeth Prosper, who commutes about 25 kilometres from Aurora, says she doesn’t mind doing a little extra every day in order to take advantage of the offer.

“The fact that I can come to work four days a week saves me a lot of time, and gas too,” she said.

With gas prices on the rise, she estimates the savings at about $100 per month.

But most companies aren’t following LSM’s lead.

Claude Balthazar, with the Human Resources Professional Association in Toronto, says the four-day work week is still rare in the GTA.

“We are certainly hearing more about it, certainly getting a lot of questions about it, but people haven’t made up their minds yet. I suspect over the next couple of months companies will be reconsidering,” he said.

Balthazar says more companies will likely follow suit when they realize a four-day week won’t hurt the bottom line.

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