University of Pittsburgh
February 11, 2009

Pitt Faculty Expert Available to Comment on Factors Influencing Growing Interest in Four-Day Workweek

A four-day workweek is appealing to companies exploring ways to cut costs and as an alternative to layoffs
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-With the continuing economic slump, the idea of eliminating a day from the workweek is taking hold in some industries. James Craft, a professor of business administration in the University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, is available to discuss factors that are influencing the growing interest in a four-day workweek.

High on the list of reasons to consider a condensed workweek is the reduction of organizational and employee costs, says Craft. "Companies and organizations would reduce heating and cooling costs by not having employees on the premises one day a week. Over a year, the savings can be sizeable. A condensed workweek is also thought to reduce absenteeism, thereby reducing organizational costs," says Craft.

Another advantage of a four-day workweek is rising energy costs and industrial cost consciousness, says Craft. The resulting decrease of commuting would reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution-as well as the consumption of oil.

A condensed workweek will not work for every industry, says Craft. "A four-day workweek will have to be consistent with the business strategy and objectives. A business that requires intensive on-call service for customers might have problems. Product-based businesses may more easily adopt a condensed workweek."