A 4-day workweek is working for Provo government

Dec 6, 2022, 7:00 AM | Updated: Dec 9, 2022, 1:23 pm
The mayor of Provo, Utah, discusses how popular the city's four-day workweek has been, why it's pop...
A global pilot program that offered four-day work week has seen tremendous success. It's not a new concept to the mayor of Provo, Utah, who told KSL NewsRadio her city employees gladly work four tens (Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Employees that participated in a six-month pilot program that saw them working four days a week instead of five, love it. 

And while the employee response may have been easy to predict, the companies’ responses are less so. Namely, the companies have chosen to keep the new hours.

According to a report from The Hill,  the pilot program was designed by the non-profit 4 Day Week Global along with researchers from Boston College. And one catch? While employees were working 32 hours a week, they were earning what they’d typically earn while working 40 hours a week.

There’s at least one organization in Utah that offers shorter work weeks (but not fewer hours). It’s Provo city government, and Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

 “The compressed work week program? It has been loved, literally loved by everyone in the community and in this city,” Mayor Kaufusi told KSL NewsRadio’s Dave and Dujanovic.

Kaufusi said that all Provo City employees are on the four/ten schedule except for those in customer service, cemetery employees, and police and fire.

And at least at the beginning, offering four tens to city workers wasn’t exactly about the employees. Kaufusi said she was thinking more about the people they serve, the residents of Provo.

“If you are a working mom, and I have been my whole life, at 7 o’clock, to run in and have a question about a utility bill? I can do that. But if you open at 9 and close at 5, that’s when I’m at work, and I’m in a little bit of a conundrum,” Kaufusi said.

Those companies involved in the original pilot program said they would keep the 4-day work week namely because productivity remained the same. Kaufusi said that productivity could be linked to how much the employees like the shorter work week. She said it’s one of the main reasons people want to work for Provo City.

“When I ask them … when it finally rises to this level (in an interview), I”ll say, ‘what made you interested in Provo,’ and without a doubt the top two reasons are the four tens,” Kaufusi said. “They love it.”

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A 4-day workweek is working for Provo government