Nantucket State Rep Proposes Four-Day Work Week Pilot Program

Jason Graziadei •

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Nantucket State Representative Dylan Fernandes. Photo by Brian Sager

How does continuous three-day weekends sound to you?

Nantucket's State Representative Dylan Fernandes has co-sponsored a bill that seeks to introduce a four-day work week pilot program in Massachusetts.

Fernandes and Rep. Josh Cutler, of Duxbury, want to establish a voluntary program for Massachusetts businesses to shift workers to a four-day work week over a two-year period. Under the pilot, those employers would agree to reduce their workers' hours without reducing their overall pay, while also pledging to share data and report their findings on the experiment in exchange for tax credits.

"Americans have not had a meaningful reduction in days off since the 40-hour work week was invented nearly a century ago," Fernandes said. "There’s been huge technology improvements and we’ve become much more efficient workers but we’re still working the same amount of hours or more."

The program would be known as “Massachusetts Smart Work Week Pilot" and if passed, could accept applications from employers across the state in a wide variety of fields and industries.

The two state representatives pointed to research that indicates four-day work week models have the potential to boost worker satisfaction as well as productivity. They drafting the legislation in cooperation with 4 Day Week, a non-profit coalition of business leaders, community strategists, designers and thought leaders, who are pushing for a four-day work week at businesses across the country and the globe.

According to the non-profit, "Companies that have made the transition to a 32 hour work-week see increases in productivity, higher talent attraction and retention, deeper customer engagement, and improved employee health. Like with any organizational change, you can also expect some colleagues to need more reassurance, and some to require additional support while they step into more autonomous roles as managers and employees."

"In this era of tight labor markets, we need to get creative to keep our economy growing," Cutler said. "This bill creates new incentives for Massachusetts businesses to explore shifting to a four-day work week."

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