Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Four Day Week

This Scientific American article on the economic and environmental benefits of the 4 day work week implemented by the government of Utah, has provoked an assortment of comments for readers. Clearly, the 10 x 4 work week is not everyone's idea of work-life balance panacea. The first thing that comes to mind is the coverage of daycare and after-school care centers. Unless they synchronize their hours of operation to match those of the Mon-Thu workers, the benefits would disappear very quickly.

If schools were to operate closer to a 9-5 schedule it would do a world of good for the parents - not only will they have to spend less on child care costs, they would be spending less time on the road back and forth from picking up and dropping off their kids at locations that call for lengthy detours from their home to office commute. Obviously, such an arrangement hurts the prospects of childcare businesses but in the long run, both parents and children can have a better quality of life - a goal that should definitely be worth more than lost revenue for businesses that exist solely because of the misalignment between school and work hours.

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