This fall, Georgian Court University will become the first higher education institution in New Jersey, and one of the few universities across the country, to offer employees a four-day compressed workweek option year-round — instead of just during the summer.
“We are pleased to take another step forward in our ongoing efforts to proactively address and meet the changing needs of our incredible staff to provide them with the flexibility to both excel at their jobs and to create a more realistic work-life balance,” Joseph Marbach, president of Georgian Court University, said.
The four-day option will be available to some 220 full- and part-time staff members upon schedule approval from their supervisors. The university will continue to be operational five days a week and run at the same high level of efficiency to meet the needs of students, faculty and the entire university community.
“Our core values are about taking care of the individual, and, for years, we have encouraged and successfully accommodated flexible hours. It is a system that works for us and our employees,” Dianna Sofo, director of human resources at GCU, said. “This program is voluntary and employees who choose to work a four-day workweek schedule will be expected to work their normal number of hours, just in a compressed workweek that better meets their needs.”
GCU will also unveil another new benefit for employees to give back to those who are not able to take advantage of the telecommuting option — 45 free meal credits each semester — that can be used in the Raymond Dining Hall. All employees who meet the criteria will automatically receive the credits on their ID cards.
The ideas for the four-day compressed workweek and the free meal program both stemmed from a Staff Roundtable Committee comprised of volunteers from around the university. Both pilot programs will be launched at the start of the fall semester on Aug. 22.
“Universities in Europe have been offering these kinds of work-life balance programs to their employees for years,” Marbach said. “GCU is proud to be leading the effort in New Jersey to make this kind of commitment to attract and keep the best and brightest employees, and to find ways to improve the university experience for our entire community.”