Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Three Day Weekends Every Weekend

It's only Tuesday and you're already counting down the to the weekend. Friday can't come sooner. Wouldn't it be nice if you could count down to Thursday instead?

If you were a government employee in Utah, you'd be used to this schedule by now. But there is a catch of course, employees have to work 10-hour days Monday through Thursday to make up for the lost time on Friday.

According to this article from The Atlantic, 82% of the employees prefer the new work schedule. The state of Utah has also found that the change is helping them a be little more green. They've saved $1.8 million in electricity and eliminated 6,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Scientific American said that many local governments have been looking at Utah as they consider changing their work week. This could very well catch on in local government. And maybe further to other industries?

If my office changed to a 4-day, 40-hour work week, I'd have to work nine to seven without a break for lunch. Some weeks, I eat lunch at my desk every day and I'm at the office until 6:30 every night. Another half hour every night wouldn't kill me. Then I'd have Friday off and Thursday would be the new Friday.

This is all fine and good. But I spend a lot of money on the weekend. Even when I'm making a effort to spend less, I spend more on a weekend day then I do on a week day. I shop, go to the movies, go out to dinner and more. Could I afford a 3-day weekend? Not to mention instead of my company spending money to keep the office cool in the summer or warm in the winter, I'd be spending my own money on that for an extra day.

Comments on The Atlantic article bring up a number of other concerns: Would an extra day with your kids make up for two less hours with them each night? Would this really work in most industries? Would letting employees work from home for a day be a better idea for business?

Something that seems so simple and beneficial to all involved, may not be so.

18 comments:

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I think that this would work for some and not work for others. My boyfriend is actually on this kind of schedule and he LOVES it.

When I go to school full-time I get Fridays off and it's really nice. I think that I would really like a work-week like that because we do a lot of road trips on the weekend so the extra day off would be nice.

For other people, it just wouldn't work!

Izzy said...

I think the four days at the office with one day working from home is the better deal. I enjoy eating dinner with the hubby each night or meeting friends for happy hours. I already have to stay late somedays -- no telling what time I would ever make it home with a 10-hour workday!

The Novelista Barista said...

i wish it woulc happen!!! that would be awesome.

L said...

I hope the trend doesn't catch on until everyone considers friday a weekend because that would make usual week long activities four days instead of five. Although I wish weekends were longer, I don't actually want to subtract it from weekdays. If only a week lasted 8 days...

nessabirdie said...

Many universities have done these work schedules calling them "Green Fridays," one of the being Michigan's Delta College. For academic places of work, I think "Green Fridays" are beneficial for that particular environment (as well as the environment).

http://www.delta.edu/files/Sustainability/News%20Events/Environmental%20Protection%20-%20Technology%20Jun09.pdf

Caitlin said...

My dad works at the university in town and a couple years ago, they moved to 4.5 day weeks. I believe they work 7:30-5 Monday through Thursday and 7:30-12:30 on Fridays. He loves it. Seems like that could be the happy medium between a 5 day week and a 4 day week, because really, I think 10 hour days are too much.

I feel like, with a 4-day work week, the 3-day weekend doesn't really make up for that time in the evenings. The weekday evenings are when kids would need help with their homework and projects.

At my company, we always suggest early Fridays to my boss and she always comes back with working longer the other 4 days. We always shut up after that.

MonsteRawr said...

It sounds great in theory, but I'm not so sure about execution. If you're not in love with your job, 8 hours can be excruciating enough. I wonder that the quality of work produced in those last two hours each day would equal out to a truly productive Friday. Besides, do I really need one more day to sit in my pajamas, eat Cheetos, and watch South Park?

Lindsay said...

I work in a Museum and we get every other Friday off. It's really great to have a weekday to schedule personal things and have a little more time outside of the office. You bring up some valid points, though. There are definitely pros and cons to this system

Mel-Rox said...

I used to work a 9/80 schedule. I had every other Friday off. I miss that schedule so much.

9 hour days aren't really that bad. I work them anyway. Might as well be rewarded for it. I would even go with 10 hour days to have EVERY Friday off.

Megs said...

My theory is if they really want to be equal opporunity employers; it should be 3.5 on 3.5 days off :)

Chloe (Naturally Frugal) said...

I'd love a 3 day weekend and would much rather work 10 hour days 4 days a week. I get to work around 8 and my lunch break is usually not an hour or not included in my time so I'd get out around 6, which isn't so bad.
Although this would probably not ever work out for me because I'm in science and experiments don't usually work out perfectly. Sometimes we'll move our schedules around and get a week day off because we've been in on the weekends, but lots of times things are time sensitive and just can't wait.
Cool idea though!

Ms. Salti said...

So, I live in Utah and work with a government office, but for a company based out of AZ. I have to tell you, I love that the State employees are off on Fridays because it means I get to work from home! Even though I have to work on Fridays, working from home makes it so much easier!

Katie said...

My office has summer hours from Memorial Day to Labor day. We get to leave at noon on Fridays -- provided all work is done and clients don't need us -- if we make up those four hours Monday through Thursday. It might not sound like a big deal for the trade off (four nine hour days for a half day Friday), but it really can be a big deal to have to work a nine to 10 hour day! It makes a personal life during the week that much harder. I like having time for my life every day during the week.

Dani said...

I work for a small agency (owned by local government, but privately held) and we have off every other Friday. Our office is divided into an A group and B group. So they aren't saving any $$$ because one group is here on Fridays.

I work 7:30am to 4:30pm with an hour lunch. One day a week I will work 7:30am to 6pm. You can make up the time anyway you want, as long as you do it.

I must say that it is the most wonderful thing. I use that off Friday to run tons of my errands that I would not want to do on Saturday or Sunday.

I could not imagine having to work every single Friday...seems so harsh!

Magic City College Girl said...

i personally think this would be great but it depends on a persons situation and what works for them. to be honest i wanted this back when i went to high school and even younger. my friends and i always wondered why do we have to go to school on fridays. theres no point. many students would just skip or not show up on fridays anyway. and many teachers didnt really teach anything anyway. oh well, what can you do.

Anonymous said...

I work for the government in Canada and we have what's called a "compressed work week" so employees can choose to work an extra 50 minutes a day and a day off every other week and they can choose which day. Or you can choose to work an extra 20 minutes a day and take a day off every 3rd week...or you can work out your hours to take every friday afternoon off! It's pretty sweet!

Hi, Lane said...

Sure would be nice! I work 8-6 5 days a week anyway.

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