The State of Utah has become the largest civil body in the USA to follow the fast growing trend of adopting a four day working week.
From the beginning of August up to 17,000 state employees will work ten hours a day Monday to Thursday followed by a three day weekend. The experiment will last a year.
Over 8bn barrels of oil are used for daily commutes in the USA, prompting a number of states and cities to implement voluntary schemes in order to cut costs and drive down emissions.
However, Utah has gone an important step further by being the first to introduce state wide mandatory measures across all non-essential services, triggering what appears to be a larger state-wide movement.
A survey conducted after the announcement shows that the majority of local government agencies will be following suit and major employers are starting to see the sense in the scheme.
Leslie Scott, executive director of the National Association of State Personnel Executives, said: “Everyone’s going to keep a close eye on it and see … whether they can demonstrate employee effectiveness and the energy savings, too”.