Utah’s Four-Day Week Not Yet Yielding Big Results


We published a post last June about Utah’s public employees moving to a four-day work week in an effort to save on energy costs. At the time, gas prices had peaked and it seemed interesting — a possible archetype for similar moves across the nation. So far, however, the results have not been as pronounced as they hoped:

Several unforeseen issues, such as extreme temperatures, employee habits and workers coming in on the occasional Friday, made such a large amount of savings an impossibility this year, she said.

Michael Hansen, strategic planning manager for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, calls the lower savings "lessons learned."

"We made all these estimates and assumptions, and it looks like we were optimistic," he said. "We thought it would be easier, but there were all these weird little things."

He said he has a draft report prepared with actual figures showing how much the state has saved thus far, but it has not yet been approved for release.

The initiative was implemented with little to no input from state employees, lawmakers or residents, but (Gov. Jon) Huntsman has worked to make the environment a top priority, even though many in the Legislature look at global warming as a farce.

The initiative moved 17,000 of the state’s 24,000 employees from working five, eight-hour days to four, 10-hour days.

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