A compressed work schedule allows an employee to work a full-time schedule in fewer than five workdays each week. For instance, the employee could work four 10-hour days and have three days off. Another possible option is working 80 hours in nine days and having the rest of the two weeks off. These schedules have several advantages for both the employers and employees.
Extra Free Time
A four-day work week gives the employee an extra day each week, and an extra 52 days each year, to handle responsibilities outside of the workplace and to have more personal time. This can allow the employee to be more focused during his scheduled work time, according to Duke University Human Resources.
A compressed work week can lead to lower absenteeism rates because it gives employees more time to go to appointments and fulfill other obligations, according to Global Ideas Bank. When the state of Utah changed most government workers' schedules to a four-day work week, employees took fewer sick days and also said they exercised more on Fridays, according to an article published in the September 7, 2009, issue of TIME magazine.
Because many employees prefer schedule flexibility, a compressed work week can raise their job satisfaction, according to the Victoria Transit Policy Institute (VTPI). This can lead to better employee productivity, cooperation and retention.
People who commute save time with a compressed work week, whether they drive or use mass transit. Utah determined that after one year, its compressed work week resulted not only in a 13 percent decrease in energy use by the state, but estimated that workers saved up to $6 million in gasoline usage. Schedules involved in a compressed work week also directly decrease peak period traffic congestion, according to the VTPI. Additionally, these schedules reduce total vehicle travel, which leads to a reduction in exhaust emissions.
Employees working a compressed work week can extend hours of service to both customers and associates, according to Duke University Human Resources. Although government offices in Utah began closing on Fridays, their offices actually became more accessible to people by staying open for more hours Monday through Thursday. TIME reported that lines at the Utah department of motor vehicles became shorter once the compressed work week was implemented.