Ask employees if they’d be interested in a four-day workweek, and you’d probably get an enthusiastic “Yes!” Plus, the prospect of a longer weekend would not just thrill employees — studies show that shorter workweeks made up of 10-hour workdays can lead to major savings as well.
In Utah, the four-day workweek became the norm for many government employees in 2008, CNN.com reports. Adopting that schedule has reduced energy use by 13 percent, and employees saved an estimated $6 million on gasoline. Employees also enjoy an extra 52 days off each year, as well as one less day of childcare to pay for each week. The Utah initiative cut the state’s annual greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 12,000 metric tons, says Time.
After the Utah plan was instituted, 79 percent of state employees had a positive experience with the new routine, and 63 percent reported an increase in productivity, according to work blog Workawesome.
Workawesome wonders if the four-day workweek might have any drawbacks – such as whether customers would be left hanging if a business is closed on Fridays, and whether finding childcare that covers a 10-hour workday would be more difficult.
CNN points out that workers may not enjoy the longer hours, and that their co-workers may not enjoy covering for them in their absence, should employees get to choose their day off.
But there’s a new generation of employees looking for balance and flexibility in the workplace, says CNN.com, which suggests that the secret to implementing a shortened workweek is coming up with a set of rules and a schedule that work well for both the employer and the staff.
Have you ever had a job with a four-day workweek? What were some of the benefits and drawbacks?