With rising gas prices and requests for Americans to use less energy, more companies, governments and schools are switching to (or at least testing) a four-day work week. Experts say it can help businesses cut their budget, increase energy efficiency, and even help reduce overtime, sick time and turnover.
For the employee, working Monday through Thursday cuts the cost of commuting by 20%. And the employer only has to heat, cool and light buildings for four days instead of five: it’s win-win. About the only negative is longer days… starting an hour earlier and leaving an hour later takes getting used to.
“The first week that I made the switch to the new hours, I noticed the day was a lot harder to get through and I was more tired the next day…”
-Elizabeth Schlaerth / Barry University Archival Assistant
But Elizabeth adjusted quickly. Especially since she now gets a three-day weekend and gets to be out and about on Fridays when most other people are working.
“It is so much nicer to be able to do things during regular business hours and not have to make special arrangements to do things after hours…”
In addition, the earlier and later commuting hours also reduce her stress by allowing her to avoid peak traffic hours.
“Before it used to take 45 minutes to get to work and I only live 4 miles from where I work… now it takes me 15 minutes..”
Bottom line? A four-day work week does have pluses and minuses for both employer and employee. But if energy stays a priority in this country, don’t be surprised if one day you wake up to a three day weekend.