Washington, Jul 26: Converting a five-day work week into a four-day work would certainly result in higher job satisfaction and lower levels of work-family conflict, thus leading to higher productivity, suggests a new study. Researchers Rex Facer and Lori Wadsworth of BYU's Romney Institute of Public Management analysed the potential benefits of Utah government's 4-day work week transition and found that the employees were satisfied with their jobs, and enhanced productivity.
They found that even though four day work week employees work the same number of hours per week as their traditional work-week counterparts, they reported being more satisfied with their jobs, compensation, and benefits, and were less likely to look for employment elsewhere in the next year. With the four-day work schedule, employees were less likely to report that they come home too tired, that work takes away from personal interest, and that work takes time they would like to spend with family. Other studies have linked work-home conflict with low job performance and lessened productivity.
"There are going to be very real benefits for employees, specifically decreased gas cost, decreased commute time (both because they only have to commute four days, but also because they'll be commuting during off-peak times, so the commute could potentially be shorter each day), and hopefully, improved work-life balance," said Wadsworth.
Facer and Wadsworth found that more than 60 percent of four-day work week employees reported higher productivity as a result of the 4/10 schedule.
Additionally, more than 60 percent of employees reported agreement that citizen access has improved as a result of the four day work week .
"Policies may need to be adapted to meet local needs," said Facer.
"Each city has to adapt to balance the very positive feelings the employees have about alternative schedules with the needs of the members of the community," he added.
The paper appears in the June issue of Review of Public Personnel Administration.