Compressed work schedules are a growing trend as companies attempt to cut cost in new areas, such as lighting, heating and cooling costs. Compressed schedules allow employees the same number of full-time hours in fewer work days.
A compressed schedule, sometimes called a flex schedule, increases an employee's number of daily hours without changing the total number of hours weekly. This usually results in an additional day off for the employee.
The common configuration of a 40-hour weekly compressed schedule is four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days. Another variation allows alternating weeks of five 9-hour days and four 9-hour days, allowing the employee an extra day off every other week. Three 12-hour days is also an option for some companies.
The employee benefits of a compressed schedule include additional days off and reduced rush-hour commute time.
Although four-day work weeks allow for an additional scheduled day off, the work day does increase from eight hours to ten hours, which can cause fatigue and shorter evenings for employees.
Many state governments were among the first workplaces to institute compressed work schedules in order to cut taxpayer costs.