Hawaii Considers Four-Day Workweek
Hawaii's change in workday schedule has not yet made it to the proposal stage. But should it pass, Hawaii would be the second state to move to a mandatory four-day workweek for government employees.
Owing to the state’s isolation, Hawaii generally has the country’s highest gas prices: $4.473 for a gallon of regular unleaded as of Wednesday morning.
“It would save the employees a lot of money if they didn’t have to drive in five days versus four days. But the bottom line is can we provide the same degree of service that we do to the taxpayers?” Gov. Linda Lingle said on CBS affiliate KGMB.
Utah gave the same reasons as did Hawaii for its move to a four-day week: lower overhead costs for government buildings, as well as gas savings for state workers.
The Oil Drum, a Web site that argues in favor of peak oil theory, estimates that a four-day workweek across the United States would save some 8,000,000 barrels of oil a day.
Some Hawaiians doubt the potential for energy savings. One poster on a message board of paper Honolulu Advertiser mused that many state workers will “most likely use their vehicles to go to the beach, shopping, or joy-riding and will consume more energy than they would if they worked the fifth day.” Others pointed out the possible inconvenience for those who need to access state agency services after traditional working hours.
But a paper outlining state employee laws released by Hawaii's state Work-Family Task Force points out another possible benefit to a four-day workweek: more family flex time.