Work Weak? - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

July 9, 2008

Work Weak?

Utah just enacted a mandate that will apply to 80% of the state workers: a 10-hours-a-day, four-day work week instead of the traditional 8 hours a day, five-day work week. Fridays will become days off. One thing you know, they won't be gambling on their off days, since, like Hawaii, Utah is the only other state in the union with no legalized gambling.

But Utah is gambling that the savings on gas and in other areas, plus the mental health benefits that many see as a result of this one-year trial, will more than offset the longer work days and logistical problems around child care and a possibly disgruntled public who can't get no satisfaction on Fridays. It is estimated that over 15% of larger US cities do offer some flexible work week options, but Utah becomes the first state to mandate the four-day work week "to save money, energy, and resources", according to USA Today.

So would it work here? Would the taxpaying public see the extra two hours that state offices are open monday-thursday as a convenience to help them get what they need around their normal work hours? Obviously, emergency areas will still be open on Fridays in Utah, but this might be one idea worth kicking around at the local level as the summer heat and people's blood pressure rise around rapid transit. Think about it...

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