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Lowe’s started offering a 4-day work week after complaints of a ‘chaotic’ scheduling system. Employees say they love it.

Lowe'sLowe’s offered a four-day work week for hourly associates starting in August 2022.

Brent Clark/AP Images for Lowe’s

  • Lowe’s implemented a four-day work week in August 2022 following employee scheduling complaints.
  • Many employees say they are fans of the optional four-day work week, but some have seen issues.
  • Lowe’s said in March that its staffing levels are the best the company has had in three years.

Jaden Walker was elated when Lowe’s, his employer, offered four-day work weeks for full-time hourly associates in August 2022.

Like many Lowe’s workers previously told Insider, Walker said the days he worked were “randomized,” making it hard to make plans in advance. At some points, Walker would work eight days in a row, he said.

But last summer, after hearing complaints from workers about its “chaotic” scheduling system, Lowe’s decided to give employees more flexibility, allowing them to work four 10-hour days versus five 8-hour days.

“So far, I am loving it,” Walker told Insider. “The days are long, and on slower days it can be a bit of a slog to get through, but having an extra day off a week makes it worth it.”

The best part for Walker is having more consistent breaks in his weeks. According to him, he never works more than three days in a row, making it “easier to have a work-life balance.”

Insider spoke with seven current and former Lowe’s employees about their experiences with the four-day work week at Lowe’s. While most said they appreciated the move, some said scheduling complications have made it difficult to take advantage of the option, and at least one opted out of the four-day work week after giving it a try. Many of these workers asked to be anonymous for privacy concerns or fear of retaliation. Insider knows their identities. 

“It’s a great scheduling practice that gives workers who value their personal time a lot more of it,” said a former Lowe’s employee in Washington state who left the company in February. “But it’s being introduced by a company whose scheduling is such an unmitigated, disrespectful nightmare, that it’s almost completely wasted.”

Lowe’s did not respond to requests for comment. When originally announcing the four-day work week, the company told Insider that it was meant to provide workers “more flexibility and consistency in their work schedules, while continuing to deliver outstanding customer service.”

What is Lowe’s four-day work week like for employees?

Lowe’s merchandising store team associates, or those who help set up and maintain stores, have the option of working only weekdays, according to the company’s website

Thus, when the four-day work week rolled around, those on that team could opt to create three-day weekends or break up their work week with a day off.

“I already had weekends off, but with the four-day work week they insisted that our other day off would be Wednesday,” a Lowe’s merchandising employee from Colorado who started the 4-day work week in September 2022 told Insider. “My wife works retail at a local mall so when she asked her manager if having Wednesdays as a dedicated day off would be okay, her manager approved, so now we have a dedicated day off together, which is awesome.”

But for a Lowe’s employee in Washington state who works in the hardware and tools department, the four-day work week forced him to work every Saturday and Sunday — days he said he had the option to occasionally take off in the five-day work week. That employee said he tried the four-day work week in October 2022 but decided to switch back to his previous five-day work week schedule in February.

“I didn’t like giving up every weekend,” he told Insider. “I did have three days off every week, but after working four 10-hour shifts, it didn’t help to have an extra day off, and I would just prefer working that day.”

For others, the four-day work week provides an opportunity to spend less time at a company they don’t like.

“The only thing I like about it is that I have to spend one less day at a company that does not properly staff its departments so that they can assure maximum profits,” an employee at a store told Insider.

On an earnings call in March, Lowe’s Executive Vice President Joe McFarland said the company has had “the best staffing levels that we’ve had in three years.”

Are you a worker at Lowe’s who has tried the four-day work week? Contact the reporter Ben Tobin on email at btobin@insider.com or over encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 703-498-9171.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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