Aug 5, 2008

"10 Hour Days" or "3 Day Weekends"

How does a 4-day workweek sound? What about a 3-day weekend? Good, right? Employees in Marion County, Fla., work only four days a week. But the most high-profile condensing of the workweek happened in Utah.

Earlier this month, the majority of state employees shifted to a 10-hour, four-day workweek, with many state offices closing on Fridays. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a first-term Republican, told USA Today that he made the change to reduce the state's carbon footprint, increase energy efficiency, improve customer service and provide workers with more flexibility. And Workbytes is sure $4.25-a-gallon gas also had some influence. Other cities, states and companies are looking at doing the same thing.

I’m sure you can think of a million reasons for opting to switch to a 4-day workweek like catching up on your sleep or getting to those home improvement projects that you’ve been planning to do for 3 years now.

But what about the reasons for not switching to a shorter work week. You would have to work 10 hour work days, for one. Could you last 10 hours on your feet in a check stand? What about the fact that retail workers put in the most hours over Friday - Sunday? Does that mean Monday - Wednesday could be off? Would this actually benefit the non 9 to 5 workers? Travis Simpson, who works at Wells Fargo, says he has a life outside of work and longer days would interfere with his softball schedule. Simpson would rather spend his evenings playing at the softball field instead of in front of a computer.

Rex Facer, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University, studied the four-day workweek concept, and told USAToday it's about promoting life outside the office."

More and more young workers are entering the workforce," he said. "They're looking for ways to enhance their work-life balance. Alternative work schedules offer more of this work-life balance than do traditional work schedules." "It’s all about education," she said. "It doesn't work for every employee."

Talk to us. Let us know what you think about switching to a 4 day workweek.

1 comment:

soaringpig said...

I think more flexible schedules in general would be awesome. I would prefer a 4-day work week, but I know some folks with kids who wouldn't want the longer hours because it would cut into picking kids up from school, dinner, etc.

I did used to do three-day work weeks with 8am-11:30pm days. It's really rough on your knees and back and the place was non-union so we didn't get much in the way of breaks. But you know, aside from the lack of breaks (which is supposed to be illegal, but you know how that goes) I kind of loved it. It gave me enough time off to take classes and go on trips and stuff. But the longer hours are definitely not for everyone.

Also, management always seem to try to call in the 4 or 3 day work-week folks if they need someone to cover a shift. Doesn't matter if you've already worked a full week. So you have to really put your foot down sometimes and remind people that you've worked just as many hours.