By Hannah Wallace November 30, 2008

Bob Smetts, president

Zap Skimboards

It’s been great. We work four nine-to-10-hour days. At first employees were apprehensive that they would lose some benefits, but in reality they are better off. We now pay overtime on a daily basis, anything over eight hours. Everyone loves the three-day weekend. For moral, productivity and energy consumption it’s a plus. It costs the company more in overtime and holiday pay, but I believe it’s worth it in terms of employee retention and productivity. It’s the only cure for burnout I’ve ever found. I truly believe we’ve created a sustainable working environment, with respect to everyone having a better quality of life.

Wayne Poston, mayor

City of Bradenton

City Hall is closed on Fridays. Almost to a person, employees love it. Some employees opted for a four-day workweek without the 10-hour day and now get paid for a 32-hour week. We don’t seem to have missed a beat; employees are happy, and happy employees are generally more productive. Project goals haven’t been affected. Part of the decision was green: less fuel usage for employees, lower electric bills for city hall, one fewer trip to work.

Tess Mitchell, director of marketing


It’s been seamless. We have flexible schedules for the majority of employees who are able to work a four-day week. A few employees may have issues that require them to do a five-day workweek. METI’s decision was made because of the rising cost of fuel. METI has a lot of commuters coming into Sarasota who are already on the 9/80 schedule. [A 9/80 work schedule allows for eight nine-hour work days and an eight-hour Friday, which affords a Friday off every two weeks.] We have not seen a change in productivity. With technology today—laptops, cell phones—everyone has access to their e-mail. Even on days off, if there is urgent business, someone is able to respond promptly and any pressing matters can be handled.

Kirsten Regal, senior employee 

Sun Hydraulics

Sun Hydraulics has had a four-day work week since the gas crisis of the ’70s. Employees of that time said it was less expensive if we can work 10-hour days. We also offer five eight-hour days or three 12-hour days for employees who want to work Friday, Saturday and Sunday. These responses fit our customers as well. Most employees prefer the four 10-hours days. They enjoy having Friday, Saturday and Sunday off to get all their errands and doctors appointments in. That way they don’t have to miss work. It’s a win-win situation.

Carole Zoellner, corporate finance officer 

Dieter’s Sod Service

It has worked out wonderfully. We’re working four, 10-hour days, and we’re closed on Fridays. All our employees like the long weekends. What it’s saving us in fuel, electricity, in all of our utilities, is definitely worth it. Just not turning the lights on, or not turning on five semis and 10 pickup trucks, our forklifts and all our equipment that needs fuel makes a difference, and it’s saving my employees on fuel, too.

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