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Also, a recent study conducted by Utah’s Brigham Young University showed that flexible work schedules lead to higher levels of employee productivity, lower levels of absenteeism and greater levels of employee satisfaction.

“Lots of private firms and governments around the country have been exploring the idea,” said BYU professor Rex Facer, who conducted the study. “It’s getting people to think, ‘Are we doing business in the best possible way so that it’s beneficial to employees but also beneficial to the clients and customers we serve?’ And it really has to be asking both of those questions at the same time.”

In most cases, the four-day workweek is optional, and administrative offices remain open on a traditional Monday-through-Friday schedule.

However, Utah this summer instituted a mandatory Monday-through-Thursday work schedule for most state employees. The state says the switch is expected to shave about 20 percent off its energy costs.