CNN/Money reported last week that Utah is putting state employees on a compressed workweek. Employees will work 10 hours per day Monday through Thursday and get Fridays off (with obvious exceptions, like police officers and prison guards).* Employees will get the same pay (which makes sense, since they’re still working 40 hours per week), and theoretically, they will also save on the cost of gas since they don’t have to drive in to work. But I suspect that much of those savings will be canceled out by the errands they run on Fridays.
The four-day workweek program is a one-year experiment to save $3 million in energy costs, which is .00027% of Utah’s annual $11 billion budget. I guess it’s $3 million that can now be spent elsewhere (or not collected in taxes), but it seems like a fairly paltry amount considering the impact it’s going to have on residents.
Residents will no longer be able to conduct ordinary business with the state on Fridays – I’m guessing that means no driver’s license renewals or visits to the state tax board, for example. And for the employees, it means their kids will be in daycare for two additional hours on Monday through Thursday, and possibly other inconveniences such as a longer commute due to driving at a time when there’s more traffic. And a 10-hour workday can be exhausting.
On the other hand, wouldn’t it be nice to have a three-day weekend every week? The article discusses all the things state employees plan to do on their extra day off, like golf or take the kids to the zoo. (The article doesn’t say what adjustments are made for weeks when there is a holiday.)
So, would you be happy if your employer put you on compressed workweek schedule?
*Another exception to the compressed workweek is “state-run liquor stores,” which will remain open on Fridays. There are “state-run liquor stores”?