In 2005, Steve Weber, then the Will County Auditor, introduced a “Four-Ten” work schedule to his employees. The staff worked four, ten-hour days, and received the fifth day off—giving the staff a three-day weekend.
“They loved it and so did I,” said Weber.
As Treasurer, Weber has not only offered a 4/10 schedule but has added the choice of working a 9/9 schedule which would give an employee an extra day off every other week.
“The addition of the 9/9 schedule gives those with children the opportunity to spend more quality time with their families,” Weber said, “It’s all about life balance and making the work environment more enjoyable and productive.”
Treasurer Employee Patti Imel says her son is excited she is able to use her day off to visit his school and read to the class just like his best friend’s mom. Working 4 days a week is not a new concept.
In 1930 cereal maker W.K. Kellogg had this to say about his decision to decrease the companies work week.
The efficiency and morale of our employees has increased, the accident and insurance rates have improved, and the unit cost of production is lowered.
A more recent study conducted by Brigham Young University professors found that a 4/10 work schedule increases job satisfaction, employee morale and productivity.
An added benefit to the employee is the decreased cost in automobile costs which include using less gas and longer periods between routine maintenance. A four day work week can also reduce childcare costs by 40%. Also it allows employees to exercise more, volunteer more, and it reduces stress and sick days.
“Governments need to look for additional ways to become more efficient. Moving to a 4 day work week should be at the top of the list,” Weber said, “Folks like it and it’s good for the environment.”
“To me, it’s a no-brainer,” Weber said.