The four-day work week works
17,000 Utah state employees have been working four-day weeks since last August. Non-critical government and agency staff have worked ten-hour days Monday-Thursday and then taken three-day weekends. Some of the first findings from the experiment are in:
– Nine months in, the state had saved $1.8 million on energy and cleaning bills (the savings are likely to be even higher over the summer as the air conditioning isn’t needed on Fridays).
– 82% of state employees say they prefer the hours.
– Employees also report feeling healthier, showing “decreased health complaints, less stress and [taking] fewer sick days”.
– Significant environmental benefits include energy savings from the buildings being closed, fewer emissions from employee commutes and congestion relief because of fewer people traveling in rush-hour all week.
– Users of government services have access outside the standard 9-5 times. They can no longer go on Friday, but they can go early or late any other day of the working week.
– And an unexpected (albeit largely anecdotal) benefit: many state employees are using some of their time on Fridays to volunteer.
We’ve debated this before, but I have to admit I’m won over by these findings. So if you call our customer service line on a Friday and get no answer, you’ll know what’s happened…
Take the first step.
Start small. Be conscious of the impact your actions have on the environment and figure out what you can do to lessen the blow. Calculate, conserve, and offset.
For businesses, our Corporate Sustainability Plans can help you with your emission reduction goals.