US Workers shifting to 4-day week to save gas
The reason is simple: rising gas prices. And while so far only the university's custodians are eligible, Rainone hopes the option will be offered to all departments -- including his own.
"In our office, we have people who travel anywhere from 5 or 6 miles to a couple who are on the road 45 to 50 minutes,"Rainone said. "As the price of gas rises, the level of grumbling rises."
Regular gasoline averages $3.94 a gallon in the United States, up 33 cents in the past month and 88 cents since thebeginning of the year, the Energy Information Administration said this week.
The federal government has offered four-day workweeks to eligible employees for years as part of a flexible work program that also includes telecommuting.
But the surge in gasoline prices is pushing more private employers as well as local governments to offer a four-day week as a perk that eliminates two commutes a week.
In America's struggling automaking heartland, the shorter workweek offers employers a way of rewarding employees when the budget does not allow a salary increase, said Oakland County,Michigan, executive L. Brooks Patterson.
"By allowing employees to work four 10-hour days it will save them 20 percent on their commute costs and ease the financial pinch of filling up their cars," said Patterson, who last week proposed the compressed week for county workers.
Gasoline prices have begun altering U.S. commutes in many ways, a survey released on Thursday showed.