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Company Marks One Year of Four-Day Work Weeks

Analtech, Inc., the only U.S. manufacturer of thin layer chromatography plates and equipment, marks one year of operating on a four-day work schedule this week.

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Analtech, Inc. reports increased productivity, reduced energy costs, and great morale

Analtech, Inc., the only U.S. manufacturer of thin layer chromatography plates and equipment, marks one year of operating on a four-day work schedule this week.

Since the company started in 1961, Analtech has manufactured thin layer chromatography plates for eight hours a day, five days a week. But, starting in May of 2009, the company switched to working four days a week for ten hours each.

"Our company started our 'Lean Journey' with the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership in 2008," said General Manager Steven C. Miles. "In addition to streamlining our manufacturing process, we started looking at every aspect of our business in a new light, so when we heard about the state of Utah switching to a four-day work week, we thought it was worth a try."

"After coordinating with our customers, suppliers, freight carriers, mail carriers, and others, we changed our operating hours the first week of May last year," said Miles.

A Significant Change

More than half of Analtech's 17 employees have been working with the company for more than 20 years. The company decided to move to a four-day work week on a trial basis at first.

"This was certainly something new," said Production Manager Terry McVey. "I wasn't sure how well this would work at first, but the results have been encouraging across the board."

"The results we're seeing are similar to what we've heard from the state of Utah," said Miles. "Productivity and morale - both measured pretty high before the transition - improved even more, absenteeism is down and we're seeing savings in our energy bills."

More Benefits

Micky Jones, Human Resources Manager for Analtech, says there's more benefits to the change in work hours.

"By cutting down on our energy use and requiring our team to only commute four days a week instead of five, I believe we're benefiting the local environment," said Jones. "Add to that the improved work/life balance for the team, and this looks like a win-win-win situation."

Coincidentally, as Analtech marks one year of four-day weeks inspired by reports from the state of Utah, the May, 2010 edition of Readers Digest has an article about 25 ideas that will improve your life - number two on the list is the four-day work week:

You can thank the recession for starting the conversation about better ways to work, says Rex Facer, a management professor at Brigham Young University. After Utah became the first state to mandate a four-day week for most of its employees, Facer found that workers, who received the same salary either way, preferred four longer days to five shorter ones and called in sick less often. The state also saw its bills slashed: Fewer miles on state vehicles provided $1.4 million in savings, while less overtime and sick leave cut another $4.1 million. Although four days don't work for everyone, the trend is expected to grow. Cities like Birmingham, Alabama, and Melbourne Beach, Florida, recently began offering Monday-to-Thursday schedules to some workers, and research suggests that more than a third of U.S. employers-including recent convert General Motors-now give the option. "It's a way to attract and retain talented employees," says Facer.

Click Here to read the full Readers Digest article.

Source: AnalTech