Your Thoughts on a 4-Day Workweek

Must be Thursday. (Photo: Rob Lee [CC BY-ND 2.0]/Flickr)

There is something really nice about a four-day workweek.

I was on a four-day week for a while in 2003 and loved it. Instead of putting in five, eight-hour days a week, four-day workers clock in four 10-hour days and take a three-day weekend.

I can say from my own personal experience that working four on/three off is a deeply satisfying way to structure your work/life. The first day off allows you to wind down from the workweek, the second day is the filling of relaxation in the sandwich of your weekend, and by the third day you're recovered and ready to crank it back up at work. When you do step into the office that first morning, you're only four days away from your next break.

Utah has been experimenting with four-day work weeks since last August when it allowed 17,000 state employees to shift their schedules to four 10-hour days. They just released some of the findings of a study commissioned to gauge the program's results. The overall takeaway? Four-day workweeks work.

Utah was able to save $1.8 million over the year because they didn't need to run offices on Friday — no lights to run, AC to blast, or computers to power. A solid 82 percent of the state employees working the schedule want to keep it. They're feeling healthier, volunteering in greater numbers, and exercising more. Utah estimates that, all told, their experiment saved at least 12,000 metric tons of CO2 from being created — the same as taking 2,300 cars off the road for a year.