March 15, 2010, 5:00 am

Working 4 Days a Week To Save The Planet

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career,Personal Finance
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When I asked to work 4 days a week back in September, I was thinking about increasing quality time spend with my wife and children as well as increasing the time I spend on my online company (obviously). While I am not doing a 4 hour work week yet, I was still able to reduce my schedule to 4 work days a week ;-).

I had read somewhere that working 4 days a week is not only good for the employee, but it is also good for the planet!

The state of Utah switched their 17,000 employees to a 40 hour work week over 4 days. This huge program was implemented to create:

#1 – better lifestyle for the employees

#2 – save on energy costs!

In fact, the energy bill of this state dropped by 13% in the following months. People are at work less often and therefore, consume less energy at work.

In addition to saving money, the 4 days a week schedule could reduce considerably the number of cars on the road, which means less traffic and less air pollution. It is estimated that Utah is saving 12,000 tons of greenhouse gases by reducing the traffic of 17,000 employees once a week. I am happy to see that quality of life and becoming green can fit together!

4 day work week has other benefits!

Over the past 6 months, I have become accustomed to working longer hours but less days. I have notice the following results:

–         I am bringing the same results as I used to.

–         I am making about the same number of appointments.

–         I waste less time chatting and surfing the web to distract me.

–         I am more focused at work and more productive.

–         I have more energy both at work than at home.

–         I am grateful to enjoy such great quality of life.

–         My income didn’t decrease much.

Basically, I only find positive points to say about the 4 day work week! The problem I guess is not all employers would permit it for now. But eventually, I am almost sure that employers will turn towards to this solution. They will eventually save money on energy while their employees will become more productive (since I take Wednesdays off, I don’t come to work tired as I never work more than 2 days in a row!).

The only issue I had at first was time management. While being at work less often, you must remain in total control of your stuff and plan ahead that you won’t be available in the middle of the week to finish something. After a month, I had overcome this issue and was in a much better position!

I realize that asking to work 4 days a week is not that easy for some of us. I was lucky enough to benefit from a family-quality of life program offered by my employer. I know that not everybody offers flexible schedules but I would say that it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Believe me, your quality of life will be improved significantly!

Image source: Blyzz

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Comments

I would love to cut my work week by half…7 to 4 days would help!

I have had the option to work one day from home, and I have noticed that I am more productive working in my pajamas , than working in the office. I typically am finished working even on a busy day much earlier, compared to performing similar tasks in the office…
I guess if you could work 100% from home the companies could save even more. The negative of course is that without social interaction, you might start hating your job…

I think your post really brings to light just how feasible and possible it is for people to be productive and optimize their time management skills in a shorter period of time yet still produce similar results otherwise. Unfortunately, I would suspect that most employers aren’t overly receptive to having 4-day work weeks even though employees can potentially be equally as effective. Nice thread!

by: The Financial Blogger | March 16th, 2010 (4:31 am)

@DGI,
I think that working too often at home would decrease your overall motivation. ideally, i would work 3 days a week !

@The Rat,
Actually, from my experience, most employers are reluctant to a 4 days schedule. They don’t realize that they would optimize their business schedule…. oh well… they will learn!

So did you cut your weekly hours or just compress them into 4 days?

I’m interested in hearing about some time management tips. Btw, did you have to take a pay cut to work 4 days? Or do you work longer shifts?

by: The Financial Blogger | March 17th, 2010 (8:28 am)

@FP,
While working 5 days/week, I was getting paid for 37.5 hours. I have managed to work 33 hours on 4 days and get 88% of my pay check so it’s not that bad.

Most of the time you either have to work your 37-40 hours on longer shift over 4 days or accept a pay check cut.

@Studenomics,
Thx for the idea! I’ll write a post on that shortly!

That’s not bad at all!

So you’re kind of working an extended day, right? I’m happy that it’s working out well for you. =)

I would so happy if I could have a long weekend every week! Though sometimes I find I spend more on days off. I work a 9 day fortnight and have about every other weekday off.

by: The Financial Blogger | March 18th, 2010 (4:34 am)

@ youngandtrhifty,

Funny enough, I have decided to take Wednesdays off… I like waking up thinking “this is my last day of work” or “tomorrow is my last day of work”… this is a great feeling of never working more than 2 days in a row!

I really like people who have a great care for our planet. I am not a company owner and an employer. But when I will be, I will always make my business an Earth-friendly one and help my employees have better lives.