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Electronics recycler Sunnking switches to four-day workweek

By Traci DeLore (


A worker at Sunnking moves materials at the electronics recycler. The company implemented a four-day workweek at its Whitesboro and Brockport recycling facilities in early February. (PHOTO CREDIT: SUNNKING)

WHITESBORO, N.Y. — Electronics recycler Sunnking is testing out a four-day workweek at its Whitesboro and Brockport recycling facilities.

“It was sort of born out of the pandemic,” Sunnking President Adam Shine says. While many white-color jobs switched to home offices and have continued in some sort of hybrid format, that wasn’t an option for blue-collar workers like those at the company’s recycling facilities.

Shine began thinking of things Sunnking could do to offer a similar work-home benefit to its workers. “What’s something we can do to differentiate ourselves?” he asks. After seeing competing employers offering starting wages that differed by just one cent, Shine knew he didn’t want to get into the wage war.

Ultimately, the idea for a four-day work week rose to the top of the list as a way to both enhance current employees’ lives, as well as help attract and retain new employees, he says. So, the company surveyed its workers and 98 percent of them were in favor of switching to a four-day week. The company made the switch on Feb. 6.

The change means workers in the recycling facilities now work Monday through Thursday for 10-hour days. Previously, the company operated Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but hours now are 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. To offset the longer days, Sunnking moved the daily break to the afternoon and tweaked the lunch hour.

“There’s still growing pains,” Shine says as the company continues to work out the kinks. It’s trialing the four-day week for 90 days. Toward the end of the trial, he says, the business will evaluate things like turnover rate and productivity.

Having every Friday off means employees won’t need to use as much paid time off for things like doctor’s appointments because they can schedule things for Fridays when possible.

“Now people can go away for a long weekend and not use any PTO,” Shine adds. It gives employees more time with family and a regularly scheduled free weekday to use as they wish.

Already, the signs are positive, Shine says. Productivity has remained the same or even increased slightly, he notes, and morale is up. “The feedback I’ve gotten so far has been incredible,” he says.

He has even received inquiries from potential employees as word spreads about the four-day week. The company is looking to fill between four and six positions right now, and will need to add as many as 20 people during the busy spring and summer months.

The change does not impact Sunnking’s other service areas including its eCaboose retail locations and its trucks that pick up recyclable electronics from customers.

Duane Beckett founded Sunnking in 2000 as electronic-device reseller before expanding services to include electronics recycling. The company employs about 120 people and has increased recycling volumes to more than 25 million pounds annually. 

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