State Agencies go to Four Day Work Week

By Eileen Jones - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The affects of high gasoline prices have brought about big changes in state government. Several departments have decided to go to a four day work week and so far employees say they like it and don't want to go back to their old schedule even if the price of gas goes down.

That's because difficult times often lead to good solutions or at least that's the way six employees who work in the Lt. Governor's office hope it will be. Beginning next Monday, they will go to a ten hour day - four day work week.

The Lt. Governor's Chief of Staff Mike Martin explained how it will work. "We're going to take half of our employees or staff and they'll work four days a week. Monday thru? Monday thru Thursday for example and then the other half will work Tuesday thru Friday. So, the office will be staffed all five days as we are and for longer hours now."

It's a schedule that will help employees cope with what's going on outside of work. Lt. Governor's Office Roy Hightower likes the change. "I think it's great because I actually stay outside the county. Where do you live? Elmore County. So, therefore I'll be able to save on gas and that will help me economically."

The employees in the State Treasurer's office, like Mike Daughtry, have similar stories. "I drive 62 miles from my house to the parking deck here. Everyday? Everyday. So, the gas has been very expensive and getting more so each day."

He saved about a hundred dollars this month by not having to drive from Greenville to Montgomery everyday. About half of the workers in the Secretary of State's office have been on the four day work week since the end of June and employees like Chris Lentini say they want to keep the four day week."Being that I'm still in college having that extra day on the weekends to use toward studying or use toward any personal business that I need to take care of is great."

Pam Stevenson says because of the new schedule she gets more done at work. "It makes me a happier employee. I think that shows at work. That comes across here as well. Because you have more time to do personal things? Exactly........I have kind of a three day weekend to take care of all of that. So, when I'm here I don't have to worry about what I'm going to do on my lunch hour and can I get it done."

Those on the four day work week say they no longer have to take off from work because they have scheduled a repairman or made a doctor's appointment. And, they say they don't even mind working a ten or eleven hour day just to have the long weekend.

The state Auditor's office and Farmers Market Authority already have some employees on four, ten hour work days.