General News

29 May, 2023

Four-day working week

Employees relish extra time off to do lots of things

By Nick Dalton

Foreman Aiden Baxter in the factory is enjoying a four-day working week. Picture: Supplied
Foreman Aiden Baxter in the factory is enjoying a four-day working week. Picture: Supplied

TWO steel fabrication, roofing and engineering companies have introduced a four-day working week across its north Queensland operations in a bid to attract new personnel as they tackle one of the worst skill shortages in the region’s history. 

CSF Industries in Cairns and Townsville’s Thomas Steel Fabrications are urging other heavy industrial and construction businesses to consider doing the same to counter the ongoing skill shortage issues as well as providing a more work/life balance for their workforce. 

“The skill shortage issue isn’t going away anytime soon so we need to get creative when it comes to recruitment,” said Thomas Steel and CSF Steel operations manager Tony Hogg. 

“In our industry and many others in our sector, while the work is very fulfilling as we get to work on many large-scale projects, it is also really hard work and very labour intensive,” he said. 

“We thought giving our staff the time to recuperate each week and spend more time doing the things they want to do like fishing, time with family and friends and some downtime for themselves to rest was a good idea.” 

CSF Industries consulted their staff across both sites over three months to gauge the desire to make the shift prior to the four days a week being implemented. 

“The response was an emphatic yes from everyone. A fortnight into the trial and the results speak for themselves,” Mr Hogg said. 

“We expected a positive result from the change, but the response has actually been overwhelming,” he said. 

“Our employees are really enjoying more time with their loved ones. They are revelling in the opportunity to have an extra long weekend, and from a business perspective, productivity and morale is at an all-time high. 

“Turns out giving a little extra back to people in terms of time is paying off on all fronts. 

“Our staff can still work overtime if they choose to, but it is not compulsory. And the way we’ve worked it out, they are actually approximately two hours a week better off in their pay. 

“The extra day off work has really put a smile on their faces.” 

Thomas Steel production supervisor Ryan McArthur said word had spread among the trades staff and “we’ve started attracting more inquiries from people to work with us across all of our divisions which is exactly what we wanted to achieve, particularly in our Townsville Thomas Steel facility, as we have loads of great jobs on offer here.”


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