With Labor Day behind us and not another holiday for months, this rhetorical question is almost a taunt: what if we always had a three day weekend without any shrinkage of our paychecks?
For millions of US employees, the three-day weekend is something enjoyed every week.
This almost too-good-to-be-true phenomenon is known by HR professionals and transportation eggheads as a “compressed work week."
In some cases, people work four ten hour days while others work nine hour days with an extra day off every other week. Most participating employers let employees choose to opt in, although some policies are mandatory.
Not only do compressed work week policies expand the length of the weekend, they save workers money while often increasing productivity and reducing operating costs.
The state of Utah is finishing a one-year trial of a mandatory four 10 hour day work week for 80% of its employees. An article in the Vancouver Sun noted this has resulted in a 13 percent reduction in energy consumption and an estimated $6 million savings in commute costs.
A study commissioned by the California Air Resources Board found that those who chose a working nine 9 hour days (taking every other Friday off) drove on average 13 miles less a week. Arco Products in Bellingham switched to a compressed work week system and is experiencing increased productivity and employee morale.