VERNON, Conn. (WTNH) – Thursday is the new Friday for Julia and Becky’s town hall employees in Ellington.
What started as an idea a few years ago is now a reality with the town adopting a four-day work week for a 90-day trial period.
“This week everyone has been excited very cheerful, the longer days are absolutely a great trade-off,” said Julia Conner, Communications Coordinator, Ellington.
Along with improved employee morale, they are excited about a better work-life balance.
“It’ll be convenient to schedule appointments, things with family, my kids are on summer break it’ll be nice to take them to the lake. It’ll work out really well,” said Becky Einsiedel, Administrative Assistant for Ellington First Selectman.
Town Hall employees will still work 40 hours to earn the three-day weekend. The new hours are already luring job candidates.
“We had some candidates come in for our job interview and when we asked them what attracted you, they said the 4-day work week.”
At Ellington Town Hall, the new town office hours are posted at the town entrance…
With Friday off, employees will come to work a half hour early and stay an extra half hour Monday to Thursday.
Earlier mornings and later nights they believe will cater to more residents’ schedules.
“A lot of Monday nights we had seen people pulling on the door, Lori Spielman, Ellington First Selectman.
Ellington’s 4-day work week experiment comes at the same time as Vernon’s.
“There’s one unified thing that they all want, and that’s a more balanced work life,” Michael Purcaro, Town Administrator, Vernon.
Michael Purcaro is referencing a recent town survey—the pandemic he says accelerating the interest for a 4- -day work week all age groups in agreement. With so many more remote jobs, it could be an incentive to keep people coming to the office.
“It absolutely needs to be looked at in order for employers to remain competitive in this workforce,” Michael Purcaro, Town Administrator, Vernon.
In the U.S., lawmakers in California have proposed a bill shortening the workweek to four days.
Around the globe—several countries have adopted or tested four-day work weeks, including Iceland, the U.K, Spain and Belgium.
Companies in these countries have reported a boost in productivity, higher talent attraction and retention, improved mental health among employees, and energy cost savings.