The trend is growing — switching to a four-day work week to save money.
Gila County might follow the Town of Payson’s lead and embark on the experiment.
Although nobody yet knows how much parking cars and turning off lights for four days each month would save, the idea has supervisors interested.
They discussed the idea Tuesday, and department heads will survey employees about preferences. Supervisors also want feedback from people to evaluate possible impacts to accessibility and convenience.
Employees in Utah, which Supervisor Shirley Dawson said is a forerunner in four-day work weeks, love the schedule because they have three-day weekends to spend with their families.
Jacque Griffin, the county library director, said she discovered through research that approach is key for success.
A sheet of pros and cons listed some factors, like employee morale, on both sides.
The plan would include four, 10-hour days.
With constituents used to five-day accessibility, county officials said they wanted to study what people thought about expanded hours with reduced days.
Supervisor Tommie Martin said she wants to examine how much the county would actually save and the potential impacts to service.
Not all departments could switch. Courts must legally stay open five days each week, and closing the landfill three days in a row violates its rules.
However, Public Works Director Steve Stratton said the road crew already works four days each week because it cuts transportation time and increases productivity.
Supervisor Mike Pastor said he worked a four-day week in the private sector.
“I truly enjoyed it, but that was in a different setting in a different time.” He added, “Will it work in government? I don’t know.”
Griffin said even the federal government is examining a four-day work week. “It really is a trend to be looking at,” she said.