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Workweeks Should Peak on Wednesdays

November 20, 1994

Since increasing productivity is one of the best ways to be competitive, it is in every business interest to "Find the Week that Works" (Nov. 13).

The article outlines several alternative workweek ideas. I have one more solution to add to the list, which I call the "efficient schedule."

Employees work the following schedule:

Monday: 7 hours

Tuesday: 8 1/2 hours

Wednesday: 9 1/2 hours

Thursday: 9 hours

Friday: 6 hours

Studies have shown that Monday has long been one of the least productive days and the one with the most absenteeism. By letting employees arrive an hour later, a business is in a better position to have workers who are refreshed and ready to work. Also, if an employee does miss work, the employer does not lose an entire workday. The employees will appreciate being able to sleep in to shake off those Monday morning blues.

Employees will be motivated to work on Tuesday because they will be fresh from a shorter Monday workday and they will feel that working the extra half an hour is only slightly longer than a "normal" workday.

Studies have also shown that Wednesday is the most productive workday. By having the employees work longer, the business will be able to tap into that higher productivity for a long time. The employees will not notice the longer time because it will only be one hour longer than the day before and they will know that it is "hump" day and that the rest of the week will be all downhill.

Employees will figure out that they should use their sick or personal days on Wednesday to get a longer day off. The employer will have to create a reward for the employees if they do not take off on Wednesday, such as getting an extra day off.

Employees will work efficiently on Thursday because they will be looking toward a shorter day on Friday and will know that they can leave work sooner than they did the day before.

Fridays will also be efficient because the employees will be looking forward to getting their weekend started sooner than they have been used to, and the day will seem extremely short because of the perception from the previous longer days. Fridays have traditionally been the second-most missed day of work, so if any employee takes off, the employer does not lose an entire workday.

By implementing an efficiently scheduled workweek, a business can expect higher profits, which means it can, in turn, pay higher wages to its employees.

JOHN D. HENRICHS

Redondo Beach

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