Thayer Dental Laboratory: You Can't Beat a Four-Day Workweek
Posted Mar 21, 2014, Published March 2014
Owner: Greg Thayer
Ever wish you had an extra day in the week to run errands, go to appointments, spend time with family or just chill out? The employees at Thayer Dental Laboratory have just that thanks to the lab’s four-day workweek adopted in 2005.
“Ninety-five percent of our technical personnel work four, 10-hour days and that provides them with a better balance for their personal life to enjoy hobbies, interests or time with children,” says Lab Administrator Robert Gitman. The laboratory compresses its turnaround times to meet delivery dates and just a handful of staff—like the lab manager, a few technicians and delivery people—work Monday through Friday to ensure clients’ needs are met.
As if a three-day weekend each week isn’t enough, Thayer’s benefits package is also the cream of the crop. In addition to covering 80% of employees’ healthcare and prescription premiums, it offers many benefits that most labs don’t: vision insurance (Thayer pays 100% of the premium); dental insurance (the lab covers 80% of the premium); a section 125 flexible benefits plan; life and accidental death insurance; and short- and long-term disability. Thayer is also one of just 19%* of laboratories to offer a 401(k) plan plus a matching program—each employee receives $0.25 for each dollar he contributes up to 6% of his annual wages.
The laboratory also offers a host of other creative perks such as an extra paid day off per year for CDTs who maintain their certification; no-cost laboratory services for the employee and his immediate family; $100 on the anniversary date of employment; and a 10% discount on auto repairs at the shop across the street. The lab even offers an educational reimbursement program of up to $1,000 annually for courses not directly related to the employee’s primary job duties; for instance, some technicians recently took a course on assertiveness for women in business.
“The reason we offer such a rich benefits package is twofold,” says Gitman. “In addition to helping us attract and retain good personnel, we don’t want our staff to be concerned about insurance coverage, co-insurance deductibles, retirement, disability, etc. We want them to focus their attention on being productive, learning new skills and positively affecting their career growth.”
* According to LMT’s 2012 Wage Survey
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