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Who wants a 4-day work week?

May 29, 2008

A man fills his truck up with gas at a gas station in Santa Monica, California, May 28, 2008.A surge in gasoline prices is forcing many to rethink their daily commute to work.

Some private employers as well as local governments are offering a four-day week as a perk that eliminates two commutes a week. In the automaking heartland, the shorter workweek offers employers a way of rewarding employees when the budget does not allow a salary increase.

According to staffing service company Robert Half, some 44 percent of respondents have changed the way they commute — from sharing a ride to driving a more fuel-efficient car. Others are working from home or looking for a closer job in order to reduce costs.

What measures are you taking to reduce your commuting times?

For full coverage of rising oil prices, click here .


I think this would be a great idea. Something will have to give. I am a school teacher and we are underpaid already.
J. T.

Posted by J. T. Lawson | Report as abusive

I’ve quit my job.

Posted by Abraham Lebowitz | Report as abusive

Thankfully, I already work a four day work-week. It’s a 30 mile drive to the Navy testing-range I work at, and have to put premium in my car. I’m in southern California, and prices are sky high!


I’ve been riding my donkey to work.

Posted by John Forrest | Report as abusive


Posted by MICHAEL MORETTI | Report as abusive

Let’s move on to a 2 day work week. 20 hours a day would be cool with me. My current job says to work 40 hours a week any way possible without going over 12 hours a day. I love it. 3 1/2 days of work. 3 days really, if its slow.

Posted by JosephB | Report as abusive

4-day work week will not change anything. On the fifth day, the people who have the day off will spend it driving around to do their chores and leisure activities, so they may end up driving more than their commute is.
The fact is, $4 gas is still cheap.
Just look around, traffic everywhere. For instance, our neighbors work for the same company in the same location, yet they still drive individual cars to get there and back. And look how many people still drive several miles to the 7-11 store just to buy a pack of cigarettes.


As a single mom, I told my boss no to this option. Ten hour days make it way too much. I do have the flexibility to telecommute one day per week so that makes life and gas expenses much, much better.

Posted by Heather | Report as abusive

I pray to Bush and Jesus that the price drops.


This is a great idea, and we should support it. is great for the environment, is great for our budget, and traffic !

Posted by Michael Benson | Report as abusive

Once worked in R&D where we tried 4 – 10hr days; it was more like 4 – 8hr days, we were beat and fell behind other areas, like real life. Discontinued after two months by popular demand.

Now I’m a remote employee w home office. I don’t like $60 for a fill up but it’s only every two weeks.

Posted by Jorge | Report as abusive

I love this idea. While some occupations (particularly service industries) cannot wholly participate in this, I think most corporations would see an increase in productivity and morale if they allowed their employees to come in four days a week. 10 hours a day is not much longer than 8 (especially if you consider the added time saver that you’re only taking four lunch breaks a week, as opposed to five), and I would heartily recommend this to everyone who can viably do it.


I couldn’t agree with you more, Ann. God Bless America!


Oh yes please. More quality time with the family, if no family, more time to do volunteer work, to help those less fortunate. More time to enjoy life. Business would have to employ more people, people are more likely to be more productive at work, because they’re likely to be less stressed, tired etc. All hail the long weekend!

Posted by Conscientious Observer | Report as abusive

I think this would be a great national effort if it could be implemented. America could add to the list of things we are doing to help the environment and going green. Our companies have variuos divisions and some may not be able to participate fully, but most could shuffle schedules to have full week coverage. Not only would this save money and fuel for the affected employee’s it would also save companies on energy and other resource costs…. all in all this sounds like a win-win.

Posted by Brian O'Connor | Report as abusive

Four day work weeks would help a lot. I live in a very rural area where we don’t have the option of public transportation and therefore don’t have any choice but to pay the high gas prices to get to and from. Changing jobs in this area is also not an option as our unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation.

The extra day off would give time for canning and preserving the food I am growing . . . can’t afford gas and can’t afford the higher food prices.

Posted by Deb | Report as abusive

what about moving closer to your job ?

Posted by Martins | Report as abusive

What about holidays? My boss wants us to work four, 10-hour days, Tuesday-Friday and said that we would lose any of the holidays that fall on a Monday! Is that fair?! Which means, we would work 40 hours a week, every week if there is a Monday holiday. If a holiday fell on Tuesday – Friday, then we would get that one off. We only get three personal days a year now that we have to take in either 4 hr or 8 hr increments and only 2 weeks vacation that must be requested 6 months in advance! I say stick wtih the five, 8hr days no not get ripped off!!! We are only an insurance office-it’s not like we’re out there to change the world! Anxious to see what others think!

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

There are about 35,000 registered lobbyists in Washington (Washington
There are 542 elected federal officials ( One Pres., one V.P., 100 senators,
435 representatives, 4 delegates from U.S. territories, 1 minister to Puerto Rico. That means there are about 64.5 lobbyists per lawmaker. Lobbying, to my understanding, is legalized bribery. Let’s do some math.
It was reported Exxon made about a 40 billion dollar quarterly profit, recently. A billion is a very large number. A million is a very large number. A billion is a thousand million.
Let’s, for the sake of argument, say that Exxon gave every elected official 1 million dollars. Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever, every lawmaker is given a million dollars to just do nothing, to look the other way, to incorporate phrases like: “free enterprise” and “supply and demand”, into their responses about spiraling gas prices.
That would be a lot of money for Exxon to spend, over 500 million dollars, but it would only be one half of one billion….to make 40 billion….in one quarter of one year. Good deal for Exxon, bad deal for us. Relax, I’m sure the numbers in my scenario are way high.
We’re probably being sold out for much less than that.
Back in the day, our ‘public servants’ passed laws to protect Americans: child labor laws,
minimum wage requirements, OSHA safety standards, The Sherman Antitrust Act.. These elected officials are supposed to protect us from the kind of debilitating corporate greed the oil industry is inflicting on us, not enable them.
This is the way Washington works, the way it’s always worked, but they didn’t used to be so obvious about it. If you don’t think tons of money is made under the table, consider this: most politicians were successful lawyers or businessmen. They had enough connections and finances to win a political campaign! Why would someone give up making 300-400 thousand dollars a year (a conservative income estimate for a successful lawyer or businessman) for a congressional or senatorial seat whose official annual income is so much less.
How much would Exxon make if gas could be available for $3 a gallon, or $2?
When I say Exxon I’m using them as an example of all the American oil companies. I know Exxon doesn’t set the price at the pumps. But the retailers have to charge this much because they have to pay so much for the product.
Many companies in the U.S. make billions, but we can choose to buy their products or not. We all have to drive to work, school, the store etc.. All products that are flown, shipped or trucked will cost more because of the increased cost of fuel.
All this talk about terrorists…. and we allow American oil companies to raise their prices every time OPEC does. They don’t need to sneak across the border, they can ruin us from over there.
Where are the billionaire philanthropic entrepreneurs? The Warren Buffets, the Bill Gates, the Richard Bransons. We need someone of this magnitude to invest in the development of alternative sources of energy. Only they could be insulated enough to not be dissuaded (strong-armed) from cutting into the oil cartels profits. We don’t need another, better hybrid car. We need to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuel completely.
This would save the global economy and the planet. I think there is some merit in that.

Posted by JustSayin | Report as abusive

The four day work week would not only allow the employees to save 20% of their commute costs it would also allow them more time with their families. From a manager’s perspective this should also improve attendance by allowing employees the opportunity to take care of obligations they may not be able to take care of on the weekend.
Holidays are easily handled by working four eight hour days on the week a holiday falls making it no different then the current work week. 32 hour work week 8 hours of holiday.
This schedule could be used as a recruiting tool for new employees and would also improve retention for current employees by boosting morale.
Companies are for profit organizations that think about the green all the time, and it would be easy to show the savings a company could incur by looking at a four day work week. Just look at the savings in paid breaks on the fifth day over the course of a year. Depending on the size of the organization this number could grow very rapidly.

Posted by Terry | Report as abusive

Not to mention what it would do for students and education.
There would be tons of money saved from not fueling buses for that extra day. Another benefit is to the students’ educational process. Since they are in school for 2 extra hours each day, subjects could be taught in much more depth and immediate practice can be overseen by the teacher. It is also a good tme for enrichment and remedial activities. Sounds like a win/win situation.


I believe that something definitely has to take place. I would support a 4-10 hour day shift. I think that it is about time the government steps up and put their foot down about something, instead of always putting it on the public to try and figure it out.
Now if we could get the government to implement something making all persons who work in the same type of employment to be given the same wages.

Posted by Alex J. Kasubienski III | Report as abusive

10 hours days? Its more like 12 if you count the unpaid lunch hour and the commute. Like someone said earlier, no gas will be saved. Thats 2 hours of personal time gone 4 days during the week so all the errands will be pushed to the 5th day off. Forget about making a fresh dinner on any of those 4 days. Forget the gym and making up the exercise in one day is not the same as spreading it across multiple days. And on another health note. If you have a job that you sit for long periods of time, you will be sitting for even longer. Hope your circulation is good, dont want any blood clots forming.


Check out

Posted by tkd | Report as abusive

We were finding this option more an more prevalent. It is attractive to employers because it is a benefit they can give their employees in lieu of other perks or higher pay. The employees seem to really like the 3 day weekend from a work/life balance aspect so it is a win-win in these cases.


This is insanity. Telecommuting one day a week; great. Telecommuting even more frequently, better. The Chinese and our global competitors would just love to see us go to a shorter work week and demonstrate even less productivity than we already have. We’re losing our edge people.

Posted by Carly | Report as abusive

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