PATLive Adopts 32-Hour Workweek to Prioritize Work-Life Balance


PATLive, a leader in remote virtual receptionist and answering services, is excited to announce the permanent implementation of a 32-hour workweek. Having successfully trialed the program under a year-long evaluation period, PATLive’s CEO, Jackie Gonzalez, decided to make the new work hours a permanent fixture at PATLive.

“I don’t think it’s news to anyone that many people feel burnt-out and are looking for a work-life balance that reflects the demands of living in modern times,” says Jackie. “The 40-hour workweek was made popular by Henry Ford in 1926, almost 100 years ago. A lot has changed since then, yet our working hours have remained stagnant. Rather than sit around and wait for others to push for a change, we chose to act now for the benefit of our team members. The results have been wonderful.”

Under the new structure, team members receive the same pay but are now able to choose between working a four-day week at 8 hours/day, or a five-day week at 6.5 hours/day. According to Rosina Cherry, PATLive’s HR Director, the five-day structure tends to fit working parents better than the shorter, four-day week. “The flexibility was a large part of the program’s success.”

But the benefits of the program don’t just extend to employees. As a 24/7 virtual receptionist company answering calls for thousands of businesses, it’s crucial to PATLive’s business model that all remote receptionists are cheerful, energized and helpful. “We’re not only trying to provide the highest quality service to our customers, we’re also the front-line voice of our customer’s businesses – a responsibility we take very seriously,” says Dave Mason, Director of Customer Service. “Happier, less-stressed employees translate directly to higher quality for our customers on every call. It’s a win-win.”

Despite the success, Jackie acknowledges there were some logistical challenges to overcome as well as some work that still needs to be done. A small number of team members on contract jobs, for example, are not eligible for the program yet due to limitations with the contract terms. And while the transition was straightforward for salaried employees, it’s more complicated for hourly employees, since reducing their work hours meant reduced income. Some team members have chosen to remain at 40 hours per week for these reasons, although this is optional and Full-Time benefits kick in fully at 32 hours/week. “This is something we’d like to fix, but since it effectively represents a 20% increase in hourly employee wages, it will take some time” says Jackie.

Still, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. “Our attrition is at an all-time low, and employee engagement and satisfaction are much higher,” says Rosina. “The reduced workweek is a large draw when recruiting new team members and has helped us attract better, more qualified applicants. We have a great team at PATLive and we’re happy to see this program implemented permanently.”

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