Why I’m Not Surprised That Utah’s 4/10 Compressed Workweek Failed

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.

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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?

For more, I invite you to visit my Work+Life Fit blog, connect me on Twitter @caliyost, and sign up to receive our “Make Flexibility Real” how-to e-newsletter.