The scheme, initially trialled within one production department in Lisburn, County Antrim, has now been rolled out company-wide and sees employees benefit from reduced working hours with no adverse impact on salary.
“Moving to a four-day working week is something we have aspired to for a long time,” comments Jayne Peters, director of Smiley Monroe, People and Culture. “Employee satisfaction and wellness is at the core of our decision making, and we have worked hard to put the necessary efficiencies in place to be able to offer this to our team without impacting our output and, most importantly, our customers. We know that our employees will reap the rewards of an enhanced work-life balance and more time to spend with their families and families.”
The benefits of a four-day week have been well documented, with a 2022 UK trial of 70 companies seeing 86% of participants continue with the policy once the pilot ended. Positive results included happier, more productive employees, reduced stress and illness, savings on childcare and transport, and a reduction in carbon footprint. Since the trial, more and more Northern Ireland companies are adopting this new way of working, with successful examples demonstrated within Smiley Monroe’s own customer base.
As a leading supplier of conveyor belts and rubber & plastic parts to equipment manufacturers across bulk material handling sectors, Smiley Monroe counts industry giants such as Terex, Metso, McCloskey, Sandvik, Astec, Wirtgen Group and CDE as their customers. With three global production centres in Northern Ireland, the USA and India, Smiley Monroe is targeting £100m sales by the end of 2027 – x3 growth in five years.
“Our vision is to be the number one partner across our material processing and recycling world. For us, this does not just mean sales growth - it means being the best employer in our industry, the most sustainable choice for customers and the easiest to do business with. We are delighted to be one of the earliest Northern Ireland manufacturers to adopt the shorter working week, and we look forward to seeing our people thrive under the new scheme. We will continue to invest in the well-being and development of our team, and I am confident this will enable us together to achieve great things that will positively impact our business, our people and our communities,” said Chris Monroe, CEO Smiley Monroe Group.