What problem does it solve? ADP reports, 72% of turnover is voluntary separation citing one of the most important contributing factors as commute time (2018). The separation rate in NJ State employees increased from 8.7 percent in FY2014 to 9.7 percent in FY2015 (State of New Jersey, 2016). By reducing the number of working days, thus reducing overall commute time, New Jersey can reduce attrition rate, and thus reduce hiring, training and recruiting costs. Additional issues addressed by this solution are discussed below. What is your solution and who does it apply to? The solution is the four-day workweek. It can apply to almost everyone in state government. The suggested solution is to implement a combination of either: a) four ten-hour workdays and/or b) four eight-hour workdays with one day of telecommuting. What is the anticipated impact? Research shows a four-day workweek leads to an increase in productivity levels, substantial savings to the organization, a better work-life balance for employees, lower employee stress rates, an increase in morale, lower absenteeism rates, higher rates of job satisfaction and a reduction in the overall traffic congestion (Gower, 2017; Guizzo et al, 2019; Wadsworth and Facer, 2016; Sundo et al, 2015). Further, it is commonly recognized that traffic congestion is the most common cause of serious negative impacts on health, the environment, and the economy (Fujii et al. 2001, Nozick et al. 1998, Meyer 1999). Compressed workweeks have brought significant changes in travel conditions (Giuliano & Golob 1990). New Jerseyans waste more than a full workweek, or 52 hours per year, stuck in traffic and about $345 million annually in fuel due to traffic. New Jersey has the third longest commute time in the nation (State of New Jersey, 2008). This solution will help address these issues.
For DCF Regional Schools where students with Special Needs live at home and are bussed in, the students home life can be seriously impacted if parents/caregivers are unable to also have these type of work schedules.
I would like to be able to make up the hours in the morning rather than the afternoon.
A four-day work week may even allow the state to cut down on time off offered to new employees as the work-week will now only be 4-days long. Also, by having one weekday off (Monday or Friday) employees will more likely be able to schedule appointments on that day instead of having to take a day off from work. Finally, a four-day work-week will allow for a much better work/life balance. This initiative is very forward-thinking. There are kinks to workout for sure but I'm sure we can do it.
I think that some of the people voicing concerns over this proposal don't understand the practical effect of the four day workweek. It doesn't mean that every employee works the same four days. The office, in general, will still be open five days a week. Half of the employees will be scheduled M-Th, half will be scheduled T-Fr
I Think it is impactful for commuters less time spent on the road, less wear and tear on your or company vehicle, less money spent on gas if you drive a company vehicle, more time spent with family especially summer months, conserve more energy reduce cooling cost and heating cost in winter or summer months. This can reduce money spent on overtime if you have to stay later than your normal hours.
Everyone should not be off the same day of the week so business can run every day as usual
Yes, let's do it!
Working four days per week will lower the workers stress.
It would make employees happier and more productive.
The Federal Government has "Flexi-place" - it is a telecommute/work at home program. Some Agencies allow full-time flexi-place and some will permit one to a few days per week (based on the job description and job duties). The Flexi-place program was not substitute for sick time, vacation time, etc. On a Flexi-place day, the employee would note their shared calendar and log on to the agency server using a token key at the start of the flex day.
Having worked a similar schedule previously at the Defense Intelligence Agency, I agree that these types of work schedules personally made me more productive and less exhausted.
There will be a need to have strategy to measure employee's productivity and the timeframe of meeting deadlines to submit reports, complete an investigation etc.
I am all for it! This idea supports life/work balance. Also, I imagine it would reduce emissions from less traffic. Finally, it would help reduce stress for the many people who commute.
I like the idea because it help the employee and employer. Employee save 20% on commute and the employer save 20% on electricity, heating, AC, and water. It also helps the employee to stay more longer with the family and do more with the given time. It is a win win situation.
Great Idea, a four day work week can increase productivity, it will be a great benefit to the state and employees.
it will be a great benefit to the state and employees.
I am currently a single parent: I work full time and attend school part time. Having an additional day to get my studies done and to prepare for exams would be very conducive to earning my BSBA and applying it to my current position.
Previously I had a 4 day work week schedule. I was more productive and it lowered my stress overall since I used that 5th day to concentrate on my physical and mental health. I actually prefer that type of schedule.
Research has shown in New Zealand that employees work four days a week and get paid for five days was successful as it showed a reduce in absentee rates, improvement in productivity and ones personal life. 0 0
In 2008, employees of the Utah state government all began working ten-hour days from Monday to Thursday. By closing state government offices on Fridays, the state expected to save on operating costs such as electricity, heat, air conditioning, and gasoline for state-owned vehicles. Many local governments have had alternative schedules for many years (Facer & Wadsworth, 2008; Facer, Wadsworth & Arbon, 2009; Wadsworth, Facer & Arbon, 2010). Therefore, this solution is proven practical.
I agree as long as the government itself remains open 5 if not 6 days a week. Working four days should be a choice, option of an employee , and only if their office determines its feasible. There needs to be someone within your particular office to be available providing service to the public outside the four day workweek.
This greatly cuts down on money spent on gas, parking meters, and commuting time. I think it would overall make people happier.
Its a known fact that Greater work/life balance = better productivity. Four Ten Hour Work Days would make employees brighter, happier and more productive. Even if it is implemented during the summer months only, the state would save in energy and commuter costs. Employees will have more time to shop and boost the economy. And families will have more time to spend together :)
Job burnout leads an unhealthy working environment. Develop and implement a policy related to the 4-day workweek beginning in July 2019. Many of us love the work we do, thus we stay later hours, take work home and do work on the weekend. At the NJDOE many of us work 7-days a week already due to the level of work, having the day off can reduce the stress of burnout, improve retention and efficiency for us.
Smartest idea. No need to think twice. With the internet technology, most of the government services are available 24/7 anyway. So no service is reduced. On the other hand, saves time and money for not just the state workers but also of the other people who face traffic jams one less day. Managers complain of one less day for meetings. Aren't four days enough for them to hold meetings?
Having less time spent in commuting, less wear on my vehicle, less early mornings... I would sure opt for 2 extra hours in the work day! It would be beneficial to have some flexibility to maximize productivity, as there are those days that things don't go so well at work. The work days would have to be monitored pretty rigorously, to ensure employee output, and employees evaluated as to their suitability to this type of program. It makes a lot of sense, lets give it a go!
I agree with this idea - it will help with the stress of commute time along with more production due to less time trying to get to work/gas, car repairs, accidents or delay in public transportation.
This should be considered as a chosen shift not mandated. Some people have daily responsibilities that would be impacted but those that don't would certainly benefit. The financial savings is quite evident and it would reduce turnover.
It is a great idea and improves productivity if working hours are kept 4days x 8hrs. Extending hours to 4 days x 10 hrs. may not engage employee at fullest. Ideal 5 days x 6hrs.
This is a great idea to implement. It would definitely boost employee moral and create a productive workforce.
Amazon uses this 4 - 10hr day workweek and the workers I personally know love this model. I can personally say that for my workgroup that workweek design would allow more work to be done each week since a good amount of our day is spent traveling and setting up safety.
great idea for reducing commute time.
I agree. This program will be cost efficient and employees will use less time off. This is an excellent program.
People who work in the social work, office would need to have some working M-Th and Some from Tu-Friday to make sure all clients needs can be met during the regular work week schedule of M-Fri. With regards to DCPP specifically having 10 hour days would cut down on overtime and After hours pay which is much greater than the regular hourly/daily rates of workers.
In the 1980s, companies began officially experimenting with flexible work. For example, IBM installed “remote terminals” in several employees’ homes during that time, and the program flourished to the point that “by 2009, 40% of IBM’s 386,000 global employees already worked at home (the company noted that it had reduced its office space by 78 million square feet and saved about $100 million in the US annually as a result)” (Quartz, 2017)
I'd like to be included in this team if the idea makes it to the top 20. I strongly believe in telecommuting. However, I know of a specific abuse of it, which I don't want to elaborate on here, and I would want to ensure we implement guards against it.
Bloomberg just released an article on February 1 this year about this topic. The shortened workweek stimulates the economy, as well (as it gives state workers one more day to shop).
A four day work week has been done before with AWP. But with computer technology, other innovative ideas of working are more fiscally sound for both employees and state government. This was a great idea in the 1990's.
State should be open for business for all 5 days so we may need to hire more people for a division or department with less number of employees \smaller teams.
The four day week schedule will automatically improve work efficiencies, reduce costs, boost morale of workers and increase productivity.
A four-day work week would decrease overall traffic for all citizens and serve as a model for private industry.
I think morale will be greatly improved
I observed a documentary once about a 4 day work week adopted oversees and how the rate of the production, stress levels, and family impact was impacted. Just looking at the benefits to my personal life, it would be a tremendous help and assistance to my family!
I believe this would be a great idea to implement. A four day work week can increase productivity, reduce stress, and make a happier work environment. Even if the state is not able to do each Friday, maybe certain departments can do have certain days. In addition, it may also be feasible for the state to remain open 5 days, but have employees have their set days off. Just a thought. I totally support the four day work week. It would also reduce the cost the state pays out in overtime. 😉
I would love a four day work week. However, how would we make up the hours the rest of the week? Currently my department does the AWP (Alternate work schedule) where you can have a day off during the 2 week pay period, but you have to make up the hours the rest of the week by coming in earlier and having a shorter lunch period. This works out well since you only make up 1/2 or 1 hour per day. However, if we had 2 days off in the pay period, we would have to work even a longer day.
A 4 day work week would be great. However, because of the work we do, we would have to stay open 5 days, and do alternate Fridays and Mondays, so that we have enough staff to cover. It's a great idea and increases productivity.
I totally agree that a four day work week is ideal for the kind of job I do. Employees may also be allowed to work from home where trust has been developed between the employer and the employee. Working from home will reduce the cost of running an office.
Many State and Federal Agencies are implementing the 4 day week schedule by working 10 hour days Monday through Friday or one day to work from home.
How does this solution help families with two working parents? We have AWP implemented in some departments already and it is not a viable option for all who are already stretched to a 10-11 hour day with the commute time factored in; a condensed week means a 12-13 hour day for many people... which means zero family time during the week for a day off when the kids are in school. This option doesn't necessarily improve the work/life balance for families though I appreciate it would benefit some.
This idea is impactful & feasible. Expand AWP to EWP (Each week). This will reduce traffic, gas cost, pollution & road maintenance cost. This will allow employee to have more time for work, family & life balance.
No challenges, put in place a process that works for NJ state workers, that are also are tax payers we fuel the economy.
In 2018, a NZ company ran a trial of a four-day workweek. The company’s 240+ staff picked one day off each week. It proved to be a success and the four-day workweek was permanently adopted. The trial saw a 20% increase in productivity, 30% increase in customer engagement levels, and increased staff engagement, a reduction in staff stress levels & work-life balance improving by 24%. Revenue remained stable throughout the trial and costs were down, with less power used (Yeung, 2018).
This idea has also been implemented in schools. Public schools in Hawaii closed on 17 Fridays in 2010 (Herring, 2010). Over 100 school districts in rural areas in the United States changed the school week to a four-day week; most also extended each school day by an hour or more (Toppo, 2002). The changes were often made in order to save money on transportation, heating, and substitute teachers. The implementation of this idea in schools further supports feasibility.
Some people are concerned about loosing hours, and they are right. Going from a 5-day work-week to a 4-day work-week, yes we are loosing hours and pay. A way to compensate for that would be to raise current employee's base salary just a bit to make up for the hours and money that we would lose by only working 4 days and not 5. This, obviously, would not apply to new-hires.
Individuals should have the option of Mondays Off or Fridays Off so they is always coverage Monday through Friday each week. I think its an awesome concept that should be trialed before statewide.
This does not consider employees who have a commute that is an hour or greater. A normal day is actually 10 hours. Proposing 4 ten hour days would potentially change that normal day to 12 hours. I do not see stress being reduced when giving half of my day to the job. Working hours might need to be change to allow start times before the current 7:00 am.
There is no reason why this can't feasibly happen. It's very similar in nature to the Alternative Workweek Program (and that already has a structure laid out).
Great Idea!!! Employees will be more motivated, improves productivity and job satisfaction. An extra day off also means less stress and a greater work-life balance. Happy workers engage better with their work. It also reduces carbon footprint by removing commute pollution.
Managers looking to create a flexible work culture should avoid a one-size-fits-all approach; dictating exactly how these policies may be used can make them less effective. Talk with your team about your expectations, so there are no surprises later on. For example, if you set a policy that employees may arrive late or leave early when they need to, do you want them to give you advance notice? Of course, trust is going to be a big factor. you should trust them to get the work done.
All of the research points to only positive aspects. I believe that this would help to reduce workplace stress, increase productivity, and decrease turnover. This chance would be a serious benefit for me remaining at my employment for the long term.
I am in agreement with a shortened work week, however Childcare would definitely be an issue for 10 hour work days. As an alternative, the state should bring back the alternative work week program, where employees have the option (strong emphasis on option) to take a day off every two weeks by working longer hours on the remaining work days.
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