PLAINVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — How would you like to have a four-day workweek?
It’s a schedule that’s gaining momentum across the country. In Connecticut, several towns have adopted this model.
Beginning Aug. 21, Plainville’s municipal center, recreation department, youth services department and the senior center will be closed on Fridays.
“We hope it will help us in recruitment and it helps us in retention,” said Michael Paulus, Plainville’s town manager.
He said not only does the move address the evolving needs of the current workforce, but it also provides residents with extended hours of operation.
“We kept basically the same hours just condensing them into four days versus five,” Paulhus said. “Giving up the Friday, which is a half day anyway, wasn’t such a big move.”
It’s a six-month pilot program and during that time, the city will gather input from employees and the community to see what’s working and what’s not.
“We’re going to weigh and measure those outcomes and feedback, and that we’re trying to incorporate other opportunities to reach us, to contact us and do business,” Paulhus said.
While some were concerned about child care and other family commitments, Paulhus said employees were overwhelmingly supportive of the change.
“I am more than excited to have a three-day weekend, get the same hours put in but earlier in the week,” said Tracey Paradis, the human resources technician for Plainville.
Several towns, including Ellington, Mansfield and Vernon, have adopted this work model.
“What we’ve experienced is we’ve seen employees stay, that could have taken more jobs elsewhere — sometimes even for more money — that’s how valuable the quality, work-life balance is,” said Michael Purcaro, the town administrator in Vernon. “We’ve attracted people, we say what brought you to Vernon. It’s the benefits package, but primarily, that work-life balance.”
He said it’s been one year since Vernon established the four-day schedule.
“We not only met our customer service benchmark, but we’ve actually exceeded it,” Purcaro said. “It allows us to stay open a little later one day a week, a little bit earlier one day a week and that’s been received very well from our residents because it gives them more flexibility.”
Plainville’s essential and emergency services, such as police, fire and EMS, will remain available 24/7.
The revised hours of operation for the municipal center, recreation department and youth services department will be as follows:
- 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Wednesday
- 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday
- Friday: Closed
The senior center will offer the following hours:
- 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday
- 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday
- Friday: Closed