Summer 4/10 Schedule Will Return
NMU will implement a 4/10, Monday-Thursday work schedule for the second consecutive summer. The decision is based in part on results of a recent campus-wide survey that showed convincing employee support for the plan. The university also recorded $90,000 in energy savings last summer, exceeding the original estimate of $50,000.
One issue identified through the survey was the short implementation notice last spring. Administrators wanted to provide plenty of advance notice this time so campus units can make necessary plans to minimize building use on Fridays, which should result in greater utility cost savings.
Of the 522 employees who responded to the survey distributed by Human Resources, 314 either strongly agreed or agreed that NMU should repeat the 4/10 schedule. Eighty-nine had no opinion and 119 either disagreed or strongly disagreed. Responses also indicated that the majority of departments had minimal or no operational issues as a result of moving to the 4/10 schedule.
"Employees who liked the schedule expressed their satisfaction with the advantages of a three-day weekend, fuel and daycare savings and their ability to complete projects at work and home," said Ann Sherman (Human Resources). "Concerns identified through the survey centered on the physical challenges of a 10-hour day and the impact on campus visitors. A number of additional comments identified creative scheduling and service solutions that benefited employees and NMU visitors."
The university’s core hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Flexible scheduling is encouraged within departments. If location is not critical to completing their duties, employees will have the option of working four days on campus and one from home.
The longer lead time also ensures that logistical issues, such as maintaining appropriate temperatures in labs and scheduling deliveries during open hours, can be addressed.
"The schedule change went into effect with relatively little notice last year, so there was a learning curve when it came to handling Friday deliveries on campus," said Art Gischia (Business and Auxiliary Services). "Because we went through that trial run and have more time to prepare, we'll have a much better handle on it this time. Central Receiving will send out e-mail communications urging departments to start thinking about summer when they're scheduling future shipments. We can also put a notice on purchase orders that states 'No Friday deliveries.' For those rare cases of emergency deliveries—for example, items that are shipped on dry ice and need to be refrigerated or are only good only for a specified time period—we will make alternate arrangements to receive them."
The revised hours will go into effect Monday, May 14, and continue through Friday, Aug. 17.