Rising Fuel Prices and Compressed Work Weeks: Shiftwork Solutions Explains Benefits and Common Employer Concerns

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As gasoline prices rise, many employers are looking into compressed work weeks consisting of four 10-hour days. Shiftwork Solutions LLC says compressed work schedules have several advantages, including reduced gasoline consumption, fewer vehicle emissions, better work-life balance for employees, improved employee retention, and reduced absenteeism. Although employers have several concerns about compressed work weeks, in most cases there are ways to get around them.

With gas prices averaging over $4 a gallon, a growing number of workplaces around the country are looking into ways to reduce the number of commute trips their employees have to make. According to Shiftwork Solutions LLC, one of the most popular solutions is the compressed work week consisting of four 10-hour days.

The benefits of a 4x10 schedule are compelling:

  • Potential fuel savings of 7.8 billion gallons per year.
  • Potential vehicle emissions reduction equivalent to removing 12.6 million cars.
  • Employees would save almost 42 hours in commuting time and $312 in fuel costs a year, while improving their work-life balance.
  • Employers can improve retention and reduce absenteeism. In some cases, they gain additional capacity by extending the hours of operation with the longer shifts.

According to Dan Capshaw, a partner at Shiftwork Solutions LLC, "The rising price of gasoline has (pardon the pun) fueled the drive to adopt longer workdays. Companies are now scrambling to figure out how to make the change without incurring costly mistakes."

The most common employer concerns are: (1) health and safety, (2) productivity, (3) customer convenience, (4) adequate coverage, (5) 24/7 operations, and (6) pay policies. Jim Dillingham, another partner at Shiftwork Solutions LLC, states, "In most cases, there are ways to get around these concerns. However, it is important to be aware of the issues and options for addressing them. Most importantly, employers should involve employees in the change process."

Consultants from Shiftwork Solutions LLC have helped hundreds of companies in a variety of industries to develop shiftwork solutions that satisfy business requirements, employee preferences, and health/safety considerations. The company's two partners, Dan Capshaw and Jim Dillingham, have worked as consultants in this specialized field for more than 15 years apiece.

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