Contractors' Use of Altered Work Schedules for Their Employees--How Is It Working?

PSAD-76-124: Published: Apr 7, 1976. Publicly Released: Apr 7, 1976.

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In recent years there has been considerable interest in the use of altered work schedules, such as flexible and 4-day work schedules. Under some altered schedules the 40-hour workweek of five 8-hour work days is compressed into four 10-hour workdays or three 12-hour workdays. Other altered schedules give employees flexibility in choosing their hours of work.

Altered work schedules can improve employee morale and attendance; reduce overtime expenses; increase employee productivity; increase the use of capital assets; reduce energy comsumption; enable better service to the public; permit better use of transportation and recreation facilities; and open job opportunities for additional persons. However, altered work schedules also can be detrimental: employee fatigue can result; work scheduling can become more difficult; overtime costs can increase; and productivity may decrease. The use of altered work schedules is more difficult for Government contractors than for other employers because of legislation which requires payment of overtime premiums when emplyees work more than 8 hours a day. Strict adherence to fixed 5-day schedules is not always to the advantage of employee and employers.

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