Unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised by the news that Utah state lawmakers recently voted to override the Governor’s veto of a bill requiring state agencies to be open Monday through Friday, effectively ending Utah’s three-year 4/10 compressed workweek initiative. In fact, I saw it coming, and even urged caution in August, 2008 in a Fast Company blog post.
The typical problems with one-size-fits-all, four-day workweeks are already starting to crop up (see USA Today and CNN), specifically:
1) Some work probably does have to happen on Fridays: Success assumes that it will be okay for the government not to be open for business on Friday and that people will adapt. There’s a strong possibility that the government will find certain aspects of the business do need to happen on Friday, and they’ll have to adapt the four-week program accordingly. In fact, they’ve already exempted parts of the Utah government from the four-day workweek for this reason.
(Click HERE for more of the post)
What do you takeaway from Utah’s experience with compressed workweeks? Are they viable as a broad policy mandate? Or do they need to remain one of many options in a broad flexibility strategy?