As the Executive Director of my company I have been bouncing around an idea with my employees - a 4-day work week.
Some time ago when I first suggested this while hanging out in the break room one employee said, "That would be cool!" I then pointed out it would mean we would have to work ten hours a day instead of eight. This of course garnered the response, "That would suck!" That was our last conversation on that issue for sometime.
Recently, I saw Utah was shifting its state workers to a 4-day work week, and it got me to thinking about this idea again. Imagine the benefits:
- The fuel we would save by having to fight the traffic one less day a week would be enormous. That's around 50 days a year you would take cars off the streets. This would have a major impact on oil demands.
- Gas emissions and greenhouse impact would be reduced. Memphis is already under the gun with our high level of pollution. This might be an effective way of showing our commitment to reducing those emissions.
- Happier employees. I strongly believe that Americans are disorganized, workaholics. Is your home a mess? Should we call your car garage a trash garage? Do you have rooms in your house you dare not venture in? Imagine with an extra day you would have the time to clean those areas.
- You would expose commuters to less pollution, hence healthier citizens.
- It would motivate you to take more mini-vacations. I don’t know about you but I have so much vacation time saved up I could take a month off and still have extra days left. With a three day weekend I could take Monday off and have a four day jaunt.
- With fewer cars on the highways we would reduce maintenance cost on our roads.
- Now I don’t have any numbers to back this up but it would make sense that we would see less car accidents. Fewer accidents mean a reduction in hospital expenses.
- I feel overall productivity would increase. People would feel better. There would be less stress.
If the City of Memphis government, one of the largest employers of citizens in the City, would embrace this idea I think it would motivate businesses to look at how their employees work. In fact, as I peruse our company calendar I noticed that much of our Fridays are taken up with activities we perform in partnership with the city government.
So, 4-day weekends; what do you think?