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Mondays Just Moved One Step Closer to the Chopping Block

A school district in Colorado has moved to a four-day work week. Mondays are out.

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BY John Brandon - 16 Aug 2018

Mondays Just Moved One Step Closer to the Chopping Block

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

A four-day work-week is not out of the realm of possibility. I've heard of many companies that move everyone to "summer hours" and let them work longer days from Tuesday to Friday, and I've heard of companies that don't bother tracking hours that closely at all.

Most of us have a hard time transitioning from the weekend to the work week, and a buffer day makes sense--perhaps one that's meant to help people rebound, work from home, catch up on email, or just chill as a way to gain momentum for the rest of the week.

I hate Mondays, so the idea of simply eliminating that work day could be a brilliant strategy. (It could also be a disaster for productivity, if your employees simply work less.) You might think the day to eliminate would be Friday, but that doesn't help with the transition from weekend to work, and people are usually ready to let tasks slip by Friday.

Another nail in the Monday coffin? A school district in Colorado has opted out of Mondays, explaining that a class schedule that runs from Tuesday to Friday (with 40 minutes added to each day) would save them as much as $1 million per school year.

It's a novel idea. The school district will also offer daycare services on Monday for $30 per child. About 18,000 students won't have to deal with the Monday blues. District 27J in Colorado could eventually experiment with other options--the first day of the week could be used for online learning and self-education, suggested one LinkedIn user named Zachary Keys. Other LinkedIn users weighed in and said businesses could potentially save money as well on building costs; a few thought it was a terrible idea.

The question you might ask, though, is whether Tuesday will become the new Monday. That all depends on how people use the buffer day.

I like the idea of spending Monday preparing for the week, possibly still going into the office for a bit, scheduling your week, and communicating with folks over email and on Slack. The first official day of the week could mainly be used for meetings and communicating in person, and for working as a team.

Monday would become a "personal day" in that you become the most productive with your own work and focus on kicking things off, instead of the usual Monday drag.

This would not work for every business, of course. Companies that provide tech support are dependent on the hours their customers work. Realtors tend to do most of their postings on Mondays after a busy weekend of showings and meetings. (I learned this after selling a house recently; it's amazing how many new listings appear on Mondays.)

Yet, for a business that is mostly focused on creating new products and services, the concept of shortening the week makes sense. It means a more concentrated mindshare during the days when everyone is in the office, and I can see that this tighter schedule could lead to better ideas, more productivity, and maybe even happier employees who always enjoy a three-day weekend. It's a perk, but one that would have to be closely evaluated to see if it helps or causes even more problems.

And, there's nothing wrong with experimenting, if you have a small group of employees. It could be a bust, but it could also be the perfect solution for the most hated workday.


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