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!!!