Select State Agencies To Switch To Shorter Week

OLYMPIA — In an effort to save energy within state government Governor Chris Gregoire has directed certain state agencies to switch to a four-day workweek.

It is only a temporary shift to test the effectiveness of a four-day workweek. About 650 state employees will be affected by the change.

Gregoire has named the following agencies to participate in the four-day workweek: the departments of Archeology and Historic Preservation, Community, Trade and Economic Development, General Administration, Personnel, Fish and Wildlife, Services for the Blind, Veterans Affairs, the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises and the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Some agencies will shift all offices to the 10-hour, four-day week, while others will only have a portion of their offices participate.

Governor Gregoire says there are many advantages to the new schedule including a reduced environmental impact, fewer commutes and increased employee satisfaction.

“I’m asking certain agencies to try the new schedule to see if it helps save energy while maintaining the level of service expected by state residents,” Gregoire said.

Gregoire has also asked the pilot agencies to implement additional ways to save energy.

“All of our residents are feeling the pinch caused by rising energy prices,” Gregoire said. “I am directing the state to take the lead in reducing consumption whenever possible.”

The pilot agencies will meet next week to figure out when and how they’ll implement the four-day workweek.