A commission created by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is recommending many state agencies operate on a four-day work week to save money, a proposal unanimously supported by the Reform and Restructuring Commission.
The commission said a shorter week would cut energy and custodial costs and improve employee morale. Employees would work four 10-hour days rather than the usual five eight-hour days.
Two years ago, the four-day work week concept was implemented in Utah, which resulted in savings of nearly 1 million, The Associated Press reports. More recently, Phoenix, Ariz., officials have been considering mandatory Fridays off for administrative employees, exempting those supporting functions that cannot be shut down such as water-plant employees, aviation workers and public-safety staff, according to The Arizona Republic.
According to a preliminary estimate by the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, Virginia could save $3.19 million by transitioning 25 agencies to four-day work weeks and shutting down hundreds of state-owned buildings. That includes $1.5 million on energy, $880,000 on cleanup and $810,000 on overtime.
The proposed change in the work week was only one of several cost-cutting recommendations released earlier this week. Other recommendations were getting rid of the state’s 50 toll-free numbers and setting up guidelines for eliminating boards and commissions; reviewing the 570 state and federal mandates to determine which ones can be eliminated; encourage greater regional collaboration; create one-stop service centers where residents could conduct state business; require all government spending be available online, and requiring state fees be posted online.