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Four Days Work. Five Days Pay
       Recent tests of organization-wide 4-day, 40 hour workweeks have produced such positive financial, environmental, customer service, and employee morale results that more employers are considering making the switch.

       The state of Utah, the poster child for the trend, has just passed the one year mark with its test of four, ten-hour work days. They report saving over $1.8 million by closing their offices and turning off all utilities and services every Friday. Additionally, they calculate that the government reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 6,000 metric tons, and workers reduced their pollution by an equal amount with one less day of commuting per week.

       Customer and employee satisfaction both increased as a result of the new schedule. Customers appreciated the convenience of being able to visit offices outside the traditional 9-5 workday. Employees took fewer sick days, felt less stressed, and spent less time in traffic, because they were no longer driving during peak commute hours.

       4-day schedules have societal benefits as well. Roughly 20% fewer people commuting each day would lead to less congestion, fewer accidents, and less need to invest in roads. And, during the Utah test, 4-day workers increased their community volunteerism.

       California, Hawaii, a number of universities, and General Motors are just some of the organizations exploring 40 hour, 4-day schedules. Should your organization be next?

We should think about...
  • What are the pros and cons of a 4-day workweek for our organization?
  • Could our employees rise to the challenge of getting the same amount of work done in 4 ten-hour days?
  • Should we try a few months experiment with a universal 4-day schedule?
Sources: Fox13 2009, 2009, Scientific American 2009
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