NewsLocal News


D'Youville College announces shift to 32-hour workweek

"Our employees will be happier. Our employees will be more rested."
D'Youville College
D'Youville College
Posted at 4:58 AM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 10:31:25-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Workers at D'Youville College in Buffalo will adjust its workweek for employees to 32 hours.

In a press release Wednesday, the college said it is adjusting work schedules in an effort to become more flexible post-COVID.

D'Youville school officials tried this shorter workweek during the summer of 2020, at the height of the pandemic. Because the initiative was so successful they decided to try it long-term.

Employees will now work four eight-hour workdays, without having any changes to their pay or benefits. According to the college, it's modeling its new schedules based on the Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act proposed by California Congressman Mark Takano.

"Life After COVID" is something many companies and organizations have started to plan for. According to Build Remote, companies like Verizon, Twitter and JP Morgan have adjusted their workweek schedule, some even working remote permanently.

Starting in the spring of 2022 D'Youville College, in Buffalo, plans adjust faculty work hours from 40 to 32.

“The world of work has changed, and we cannot go back,” said D’Youville President Lorrie A. Clemo, PhD. “This is a multifaceted employee health and wellness initiative which we believe will ultimately benefit our students, employees, the institution, and our community.”

This is not a matter of the lack of trying to be able to fill positions at this time, according to Dr. Clemo.

College president Dr. Lorrie Clemo tells me this does not impact education schedules at all. The adjustment is for staff, librarians and administrators, with an exception of herself.

Employees at D'Youville were previously working five 7.5-hour days.

Doctor Clemo said, "We are allowing our employees to stagger their hours. So, we're actually going to be expanding our service hours that students have with our college. Let me give you an example. We used to be on a very rigid, 8:30am to 4:30om schedule. Now, with a staggered schedule, some of our employees will be coming in early. Some will be later. We expect that our day is now going to provide direct services to students from 8am until 5pm."

Each department head is responsible for making sure all of its employees have "equitable opportunity", in scheduling their own schedules.

Doctor Clemo added, "Our employees will be happier. Our employees will be more rested because they will have a more balanced lives between their work lives and their personal lives. So, we think that that is going to spill over to better engagement between our employees and our students because they will be more refreshed and be healthier and happier in a work environment."

A remote day, however, is not included.

She said, "This is an on-campus work requirement, but we are doing this because in our industry, and especially as a small college, highly high-touch personalized individual attention is really important. Those face-to-face interactions that our employees and our faculty have with our students is what makes us different."

The 32-hour workweek will be observed through a 6-month trial.

Clemo added, "At the end of the spring semester, we will be conducting again those student satisfactory surveys to make sure that students are satisfied with the quality of the services. We will also be reviewing the key performance indicators that each department has placed over the next six months."

If employees have failed to meet the key performance indicators and if there has been a significant drop in student satisfaction, school officials will revisit the policy.

In order to ensure services are still completely covered, the college says it will begin cross-training employees to have broader skill sets.

"One of the criteria of the program that we are putting in place is technology training, so that our employees can maintain that continuity of services, along with professional development. Those professional developments will need to be completed in the upcoming year in order to maintain the program," Dr. Clemo said.