Productivity and the 4-Day Work Week

I hadn’t realized but a handful of state governments within the U.S. have been experimenting with the 4-day (10 hr./per day) work week. Utah just released some numbers associated with this experiment that are pretty compelling:

  • $4.1 million was saved over a 12 month period in overtime hours alone. Employees basically were not as inclined to stay over 1 or 2 hours per day because they had already worked the required 10 hours.
  • $502,000 was saved in energy costs and $200,000 in janitorial costs.

I didn’t find any data associated with productivity measures. I am sure that will take some time to sort out. Lots of qualitative feedback however regarding people’s preferences for a 3-day weekend, happier employees, more time for family, etc.

This cannot be discounted. I think we all know a happy employee is probably not one that will gun another down. More than anything the 10 hours makes sense as I think we can all imagine … what’s 10 hours when you have already worked 8? I for one would love this schedule.

Problem in the end of course, across sectors (public, private, non-profit), is business does need to be conducted on Fridays. I cannot see a business or organization that is serving the public directly closing its doors on a Friday. The minute this happens in the private sector another business will come along and fill the demand.

Long-term this will be a specialized work schedule for specialized sectors. Let’s hope some of us can take advantage!!!

4 Comments

Filed under Pole to Pole Development Posts

4 responses to “Productivity and the 4-Day Work Week

  1. Alex

    Can you share the website for where you found those Utah numbers?

  2. Jeff Stevens

    Peter-
    EDAW (now part of AECOM) has had a 9 day, 9 hour 2 week work period with half of the employees having every other Friday off. This way they are always open w/min. of half staff on Fridays. I think that is a happy medium.
    Jeff urp ’81

  3. It works for some, but not folks who have to pick up kids from schools that let out earlier and earlier every year.

    I think the eventual solution is that everyone works from home… Just sayin’.

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