Brockport e-recycling company moves to four-day work week

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BROCKPORT, N.Y. – How does a four-day work week sound? Employees at a local electronics recycling company recently made the shift.  

Sunnking, based in Brockport, transitioned more than 90% of its staff to a four-day work week a few weeks ago.  It’s a 90 day pilot program that will likely be made permanent.  

“I wish I could have said, hey… everybody goes work from home, but you can’t process electronics from home, you can’t test and sell electronics from home, you really have to be here,” explains Sunnking President Adam Shine.

But that caused staffing challenges coming out of the pandemic, “you’re working out in the warehouse, it’s not glamorous, it’s not warm, we pay a decent wage, but it’s tough to attract people, we’re not on any bus route so, it’s tough to get people to come in and we thought, what’s another thing that we can do,” Shine wondered.  

After researching the idea for months and surveying employees, Shine recently moved almost all Sunnking employees to a four-day work week.  They work Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and still receive the same number of breaks and a lunch period. 

Josh Ausman is an LCD Dismantler at Sunnking and says he’s thrilled with the new schedule, “I’m no longer with my ex, so I get my kids for visitations… so, when they don’t have school on Friday’s… I’m able to get them Thursday night instead of Friday night, so it gives me more time with the family and you can get appointments done if you need to,” he explains.  

Jeannine Smith handles customer service for Sunnking’s online sales, “I get to save on paid time off, if I want to take like a little getaway, I have more time for that, I can maybe leave on a Thursday, come back on a Sunday if I want to go out of town,” she tells News10NBC.  

The shift change has also amounted to some small savings for employees with a longer commute to work, “with gas costs going up, it’s for days of commuting versus five, so I save about like $20 in gas,” Smith says.  

For some employees, the schedule change took some getting used to, particularly the 6:30 a.m. start, but most have reported liking the change.  

Shine says so far, there hasn’t been a noticeable impact on productivity, “I was worried that maybe toward the end of a 10 hour day, they would trail off but again, I haven’t seen any evidence of that,” he says.  

It’s possible the change could save Sunnking some cash too, “whether it’s our utilities, or propane or other things, there could be a benefit to the company, that is not at all why I did it, I did it for the employees to retain and attract and keep, but there might be some savings” Shine says.