Posted on 2 July 2008

Utah Tries Four Day Work-Week

On August 4th, Utah will begin its move to a four-day work week, a move that should save up to about 20% of the state’s expenses by 2015.

The change will apply to about 17,000 employees, roughly 80% of the state workforce, [Utah State Governor] Huntsman says. Public universities, the state court system, prisons and other critical services will be exempt. Residents still will have sufficient access to state offices, many staying open from 7 a.m.- 6 p.m., and more than 800 state services are available online, he says.
[USA TODAY: Most state workers in Utah shifting to 4-day week]

The move, which will have employees working the same number of hours, but just cramming those hours into a 4-day week, should help save state employees money, keep some cars off the road, and reduce the other energy expenses they have just to keep doors open and lights on.

The green work blog, TreeHugger, noted the states’ move, as the first state in the US to try and do this across the board:

By shutting down 1,000 buildings statewide on Fridays, an estimated 3,000 metric tons in carbon emissions will also be cut. Admittedly, though the energy and fuel savings is not as great as telecommuting, the idea of a four-day work week is probably more appealing to reluctant employers who are willing to test more moderate, but still viable, alternatives.

My thoughts on the 4-day work week move is that, as long as crucial state services are still available when needed, this is a good thing. For a long time, the biggest problem I personally have with the “public good” is that there is so much over-availability required to make sure that services are always available to everyone.

It does make sense, however, to keep offices open later than normal 8-5 business hours… I have often been annoyed that I need to take time off work to take care of something at the government.

What do YOU think about the 4 day week?

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