Yavapai County employees may soon enjoy a four-day work week.
New state legislation allows county departments to operate 10 hours a day, four days a week rather than eight hours a day, five days a week, according to Yavapai County Human Resources Director Alan Vigneron.
The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors asked Vigneron to gather written comments from department heads to help it make a decision.
Some county departments are already using the four-day schedule, Vigneron said, including fleet management and public works, and it could work for others, but not for everyone. Courts, juvenile and adult probation, and the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office would not be able to adjust.
Yavapai County District 1 Supervisor Carol Springer said she would have a problem not allowing all departments to take advantage of the three-day weekend. She proposed collecting comments from each department head on how a four-day schedule would affect them.
“I personally support four-day weeks,” Springer said. They are an extraordinary benefit to employees; however, she does not want to make a decision without department input.
Some departments will be able to alter their operations and some won’t, Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor Chip Davis said. He favors adopting the policy with the stipulation each department must ask the board for approval.
Yavapai County wouldn’t be the first to adopt a four-day work week policy. According to Vigneron, Navajo County currently operates on the altered schedule, which changes office hours to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, rather than 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
“There are positives and negatives to doing that,” Vigneron said.
Perks include longer office hours allowing the public to conduct county business before or after work, improved employee morale due to a three-day weekend and energy savings.
The downside is some departments would be closed Fridays, and it could complicate family schedules in terms of child care.
The new legislation also gave the county the option to adjust its holiday schedule. The board unanimously approved giving employees the day after Thanksgiving off rather than Columbus Day.
“I know some employees who wanted us to make this decision after Columbus Day,” Yavapai County District 2 Supervisor Tom Thurman joked.
Vigneron told the board he received very few comments from employees regarding the change, which will go into effect this year.