Lorne Marr interviewed on The Bill Good Show

Lorne Marr, the Director of New Business Development at LSM Insurance, was interviewed in the Bill Good Show that is aired on the waves of the Vancouver-based radio CKNW AM980 on 14th of July. Bill Good and Lorne Marr discuss “Is it time for a long weekend every weekend?” and talk about the advantages and disadvantages of four-day workweek.

Marr speaks about the perks of four-day workweek that has been established in LSM Insurance in 2009, about the motivation behind this idea and the reception of it by his employees. He also explains in detail how the four-day workweek works in his company.

Listen to the Is it time for a long weekend every weekend? – part of The Bill Good Show:


You can learn more about the advantages of the four-day workweek here:
Four Day Work Week

The transcript of the interview with Lorne Marr:

Bill Good:

I’m Bill Good, welcome to those who’d be joining us this morning on a Corus Radio Network.

It sounds too good to be true: four-day workweeks, three-day weekends as a matter of course, but if it’s done right apparently it boosts productivity, makes a happier workplace. At least that’s according to one Canadian company that’s marking five years of a four-day workweek policy! It’s still a forty-hour workweek, but by working longer days employees can avoid rush hour, save on gas, and still feel like they’re getting some free time. So, how institute a four-day workweek and still get everything done?

Lorne Marr is director of new business development at LSM Insurance. They instituted a four-day workweek in 2009. Mister Marr, good morning!

Lorne Marr:

Good morning, or good afternoon here!


Ok. Are you surprised at how well it’s gone?


At first I was a little bit surprised but not really. I mean, to me it makes a lot of sense. There is just a specialty in Toronto – in the surrounding areas, there’s so much gridlock with the traffic but that was one of the big, the real big benefits that I saw in putting this in place – that it decreases commute time considerably.


So, what’s your normal day for your people?


Well, it’s not always a three-day weekend because they might spread it out, so some people take the Friday off, some people might take the Tuesday or Wednesday off in addition to their Saturday and Sunday and then rather than a 9 to 5 it would usually be an 8 to 6 which offers a benefits in a number of ways. There’s one less day when they have to drive, so they’re saving the commute time that way. This was kind of springboarded on by our office manager who lives quite far from the office, so it really decreased her commute time. So each of those four days she was or that she is working, and the other people are working, they’re also facing less traffic, because they’re not coming in during peak hours.


Now, Merissa on Facebook says

“I did it for eight years and it was amazing! You don’t even notice the longer day because you’re so looking forward to a good three days off!”


Yes, there’s definitely that and you can also be more focused, because you know that you have to have those items done within those four days.


Are you surprised that more companies aren’t doing it, given the experience that you’ve had? Or are there more people doing it than we might realize?


Yes,  I think that there should be more companies doing it and I am surprised that more haven’t caught on. Canada seems to be a little bit behind in this area and I think part of it is they just don’t realize the actual benefits that there are to the employees. When you have a happy employee that also makes for more productive employee and that’s a key thing to consider as well. And then a lot of companies don’t have the ability to measure results, so they think that it’s not working or it wouldn’t work, but part of that is because they don’t have the system in place to measure the results before and after implementing something like this.


Has it made a difference in terms of retention of employees?


Oh, yeah! Definitely, that’s one of the reasons we put it, because right around the beginning of 2009, when things were starting to shift a little bit, the economy wasn’t doing too well, we wanted to find a way to still deliver more value to our employees without necessarily providing increased compensation. And this is a big way to do that, because don’t necessarily have to give more compensation but really, they’re making more on an hourly basis, because they’re having to work in the same forty hours. But they’re not paid for commute time and there’s less commuting.


So it’s made a big difference in that regard.


Yeah, for sure. For sure, there’s also savings in terms of fuel cost as well, because there’s one less day of having to drive to work.


So what are people doing with your three days off?


Well, you know, there’s a lot of different things you can do. It’s a springboard into a lot of things because you have one more day off, so if you do take off on a Friday you can actually go on Thursday night versus Friday night, so you’re getting less of that cottage traffic. If you want to get certain errands or items done, you’re able to do them. Some people might do those in the week, during the day when all the malls and all the government offices are less busy or open as opposed to weekend, when it’s harder to do a lot of those things.


Talked Lorne Marr, director of new business development at LSM Insurance. They instituted a four-day workweek in 2009. Did your people jump to it? I mean, were they really, really keen to do it or it was something that you had to sell?


Well, I don’t think we really had to sell it, everyone seems to really like the idea and once again we just have to have the systems in place to make sure that everyone accountable for the hours, that they are working and that we’re able to measure everyone’s performance that way.


Mr. Marr, thanks so much!


Oh, you’re welcome, it was nice talking to you!


Lorne Marr, the director of new business development at LSM Insurance. They instituted a four-day workweek in 2009.

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  1. Daisy 07/16/2014 at 2:10 pm

    Great interview! The 4 day work week is a great idea, especially for working mothers as it will give more flexibility to spend time with their children.

  2. LSM Insurance 07/16/2014 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks Daisy. I appreciate the kind words and your insights.

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