Enjoying the outdoors with a walk with the dogs is exactly the type of activity promoted in the town of Swampscott, Massachusetts.
“I talked with them and I said, ‘Wow! I want to apply for a job here,’” resident Pam Clifford said.
And that is what the town administrator wants to hear. Three weeks ago, Swampscott employees went from a standard five-day workweek to four days for a better work-life balance.
“Everything that we’re doing into four days I think gives us the ability to unpackage that over a three-day period,” said town administrator Sean Fitzgerald.
The weekend is now Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The town offices are still open the same amount of time – the hours are extended on the remaining workdays.
“Why do it on Monday through Thursday? I don’t see the difference. They were only open until twelve on Fridays,” said resident Chris Hansen.
“Almost everything I do is by mail or electronic so whatever you know anything to accommodate people’s lives,” said resident Ellen Garvey.
Like many places, during the great resignation the town has had trouble recruiting and retaining people. The town administrator hopes a shorter workweek means longer term employees.
“More time outside, more time just doing that I think help keep the focus on their mental health and physical health,” said Fitzgerald. “You know I haven’t heard one staff person say that they want to come in on Friday.”
“I love it that they love it and they're happy,” said Clifford.
The four-day workweek was initially supposed to be a trial, but it’s going so well that it's become permanent.