MARYLAND (DC News Now) — There are the sayings “thank gosh it’s Friday” or someone has the “case of the Mondays” — but what if those went away? Lawmakers in Maryland are proposing a four-day workweek, starting with a pilot program study for government and private workers.
Some Marylanders said that they’d like to see the new schedule in their jobs as well. Supporters say it will actually boost productivity and has incentives for employers in the form of a potential tax break from the state.
“If I could snap my fingers, I would absolutely implement a four-day workweek,” said sales representative Tahlee Mambia.
Mambia supports the move and said it could relieve stress not only in the workplace but also at home.
“We as Americans work a lot, and a lot of times a lot of people have more than one job,” Mambia explained. “Also I think that it will relieve some of the stress that we feel working middle class, lower class, you know, anyone who is working extreme hours just to get by.”
A study done by Boston College, University College Dublin, and Cambridge University prompted 33 companies across the United States, and around the world to eliminate one work day for six months. The study also forbid companies from reducing pay or benefits during the study.
Data showed a four-day workweek boosted performance and productivity while reducing stress and feelings of burnout and some workers I spoke to agree.
“I’m a mom, a single mom, and I would appreciate a four-day work week where I can get more things done at home with my son,” Silver Spring eye technician Tyniece Granberry said. “I think it would make it easier for everyone actually. We’re less stressed, less of a hustle and bustle every day.”
Evangeline Pergantis, a marketing coordinator in Bethesda, believes the four-day workweek would give people more time to relax and regroup for the workweek ahead. She explained that while Friday is the start of the weekend for many workers, it is still a conventional business day and doesn’t allow for much free time outside of the standard 9-5 schedule.
She went on to explain that Saturday is usually her only free day to relax as she spends Sunday preparing for the week ahead.
“We’ve recently been having a lot of three-day weekends just cause of holidays and I find that I’ve gotten a lot more done and I feel more relaxed coming into the week,” Pergantis said.
But not everyone I spoke to supports the move. Some construction workers feared longer project timelines due to the shortened week and others expressed concern about losing money.
“I mean there’s nothing wrong with a four-day work week, but people gotta get their bread,” Jaleel Muhammad, a Silver Spring community health worker, explained. “Life is hard and everybody’s got their responsibilities and take care of their family so I feel like everybody deserves at least five days a week.”
Vaughn Stewart (D-Montgomery County), one of the bill’s sponsors, said that the bill would require employers to reduce working hours from 40 to 32 hours a week without reducing pay in order to qualify for the income tax credit.
The bill did not specify the amount of potential tax credit for companies that implement the new schedule.