Atlanta’s four-day workweek has unexpected results.
The idea first arose during the days of $4-a-gallon gasoline in the summer of 2008. But now, even with energy prices way down from their peak, reduced work schedules or “furlough” programs keep popping up. In recent weeks, both Chicago and Rhode Island have saved money by shutting down non-essential services for a few days, and Utah has experimented with a four-day work week.
The current interest in reduced work schedules is easy to explain. With budgets drowning in red ink, cutting back on work schedules is an immediate way to reduce costs. But there are signs that the approach may have another, unexpected benefit: greater efficiency.
Atlanta’s experience is worth noting.