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Utah’s 4-day Work Week

Last year, the state of Utah mandated a four-day work week for state employees. The salaries and number of hours each worker put in remained the same as the workday became longer, but offices were closed on Fridays.
After 12 months, Utah's experiment has been deemed so successful that a new acronym could catch on: TGIT (thank God it's Thursday). The state found that its compressed workweek resulted in a 13% reduction in energy use and estimated that employees saved as much as $6 million in gasoline costs. Altogether, the initiative will cut the state's greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 12,000 metric tons a year. And perhaps not surprisingly, 82% of state workers say they want to keep the new schedule.

Even those who do not work for the state have benefitted since offices are open later Monday through Thursday. Other states and businesses are looking at the results and may possibly try the schedule out. Link -via Digg

It's about time people are realizing that currant work schedules are un-sustainable, and taxing on people's bodies. Should a great deal more of the US follow such a pattern they might see a drastic drop in people suffering from things like depression. I mean, even just try doing what the Europeans and Asians do by taking a nap in the afternoon.
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Sounds good, but there must be a catch somewhere that will disadvantage the workers. I'm told that when computers started entering the workplace bigtime, it was claimed that a worker could complete a week's worth of work in several hours. More fun! More playtime! More creativity! Sadly, the workers were just given more work to fill in the time, so nothing really changed.

Once workers get used to working longer days, Fridays will be reintroduced perhaps.
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My workplace has been doing this for over a year now and it's awesome. As long as you have work to do, the days go by pretty quickly, and having a three-day weekend every week is so good, that I don't think I could ever go back to two. It was planned to that as far as vacation hours go, it would not incur additional costs, but I find myself using a lot fewer vacation hours because I already have one built in every week.
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I find it hard to believe that people like this. I've had to work these hours occasionally because of mandatory overtime, and by Friday I was completely wiped out. Did they factor in commuting time? Because according to the census, the average commute in Salt Lake City is about 20 minutes. The average commute where I live in NYC is twice that. And my personal commute is an hour and a half on a bad day.

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/Ranking/2002/R04T050.htm
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I used to work a 4 days on (10 hours), 4 days off schedule. There were nice things about it, but productivity really does drop off after about 7 hours.
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I live in Utah and let me tell you, this is not a benefit aside from the savings to the state and carbon emissions. Because of the 4 day work week, places like the DMV have lost a whole day and added that traffic to the other 4 days. Waiting times have gone up, service has gone down, and many employees who work it are not pleased with their longer hours. Many studies have also been done that show the longer people work, their per hour productivity falls to the point where adding another hour is self defeating. It's got it's benefits, but not without it's costs.
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On the one hand it sounds like a good idea, but then I imagine if I had to work a week like that. I would never have time to go to the gym during the 4 days of the week, I'd barely have time to make dinner with the commute and what not. But having things open longer hours would rock, especially in Belgium where everything closes at 6pm. Everything.
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Where I work, we were offered the option of an alternate work schedule last year. Half the employees signed up immediately and all of them love it. But for me personally, it's hard enough getting to work by 8 and leaving at 5. There is NO way I could work 7-6, especially in winter, when my daily commute is an hour each way. I'm so glad it wasn't mandatory.
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I have worked 12 hour days for 5 days in a row. It is usually fine but you get burned out quick. Especially when I have a 1 hour commute time so if I have to work 7 to 7 I have to get up at 5 so then I am left with a 5-8 day which amounts to a 15 hour day giving me 9 hours to have free time and sleep. It sucks when you get to the 3rd day.

I could not deal with a 10 hour day every day.
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Another addition is that comming in that early cuts the commute time down as the traffic is much less.
I was able to do this in the past and it was great. I'd vote for Mondays off instead. Gives you time to recover from the weekend.
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I live in Utah and let me tell you, this is a huge benefit. Aside from the savings to the state and carbon emissions, we have a more efficient government. Perhaps places like the DMV have lost a whole day and added that traffic to the other 4 days, but waiting times have remained even, and service seems better. Most employees who work it are extremely pleased with the longer hours as they get Friday off. I know, I am one of them. I have so much more energy to work during the week after a 3 day break. If you search the internet, it is full of kudos and interest as to how well this has worked here. And now the Utah legislature is talking about ending this practice for the new year. Once again, there are those blind legislators who defy logic and reason to ... to what? There is no reason to end this!
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What about parents with kids in school. Don't they have increased babysitting costs with an extra hour in the morning and evening for all school aged children?
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