When gas hit four dollars a gallon around the country in the first half of 2008, private and public employers began experimenting with ways to cut costs for themselves and their employees. Travel was replaced by web meetings. GPS units were installed to help drivers find the most efficient route with the fewest left turns.
And for many, the forty hour work week was squeezed into four days. This change is turning out to be popular with employees and has unexpected benefits as well.
Employers are saving money as they expected, as are workers who commute twenty percent less than they used to. The reduction in driving and air conditioning is reducing pollution too. The state of Utah estimates they'll reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6,000 metric tons annually due to Friday shutdowns.
What's more, Utah employees with the extra day off are using their free time to volunteer more.
Turns out, less is more. With all these benefits, the four day / forty hour work week just might be here to stay.