Pros and Cons of The 4-Day Work Week

Utah has officially become the first state to experiment with reducing energy costs and commuter gasoline expense by switching 17,000 of 24,000 executive branch government employees to a 40 hour, four-day work week. But before you mark that 5th day off your work week lets look at the Pros and Cons. And how much money and energy would really be saved by moving to a 4-day work week?

PROS:

  • If the average car in the U.S. consumes about one gallon every 17 miles, and gas goes for $4 a gallon, one non-commuting day only saves about $14, or about $650 a year. And that’s assuming you don’t use your car on your day off.
  • Taking 20% of cars off the roads during the most heavily traveled time of the day would obviously reduce the overall amount of greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants produced by our autos.
  • With 1/5 fewer cars making the commute each day, fewer new roads projects would be necessary and existing roads would last longer.
  • If workers used there cars 20% less often to drive to work, they would see a reduction in the frequency of oil changes, tune ups and the purchase of new tires just to name a few savings.
  • A Four Day Work Week would mean a reduction in absenteeism, when workers must leave the office to take care of personal/home matters.

CONS:

  • The problem workers with children have when considering a 4-day work week is that most daycare facilities often don’t have those hours. If you commute to work that could mean an 11-12 hour day.
  • The ongoing 9-10 hour days can be physically and mentally draining.
  • There are only so many hours in a day and working a four-day work week means you can’t always get the same amount of work done, leaving your email overflowing and never finishing the to-do list.
  • Since the four-day work week is meant to alleviate employees from the burdens of commuting, many companies assume that any personal needs will be attended to on the day off, making scheduling real time off difficult.

Depending on your circumstances a 4-day work week might work but that’s something you and your company will have to decide on.

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