4 day work week

SALT LAKE CITY – Closing Utah state offices on Fridays has delivered an unexpected bonus: a big saving on overtime pay.

New calculations show Utah saved $4.1 million in the first year of a government experiment with a four-day workweek.

State employees were eager to leave after the longer workday, and weren't inclined to work an extra hour or two.

"They're getting what they need to get done in 10 hours and going home," said Angie Welling, spokeswoman for Gov. Gary Herbert.

"The state envisioned some energy savings, but that overtime number was not anticipated," she said Wednesday.

Utah was the first state in the country to shut down most of its services on Fridays. Other states took notice. Hawaii tried a limited four-day week last fall, when a similar program was under way in Washington state. Lawmakers in at least two other states — West Virginia and Virginia — have also looked into adopting a four-day workweek.