The city of South Portland will switch to a four-day work week for a majority of its employees, officials announced last week.
The pilot program begins the week of August 7, South Portland’s City Hall, the assessing and the planning development buildings will be closed to the public on Fridays.
According to the press release, a majority of non-union employees will work their typical set of weekly hours but condensed into four days. The move is not expected to add or reduce costs for the city. The pilot schedule will be ongoing for six months.
“A four-day work week and/or more flexible weekly work schedule was the top choice among city employees for the changes they would like to see, with 89 percent of non-union staff who responded to a survey showing interest in this option,” according to city spokesperson Shara Dee in the press release.
Several communities in Maine are already operating on a condensed work week, including Scarborough, Gorham, Biddeford and Falmouth.
South Portland Human Resources Director Stephanie Weaver said this is an example of a change that came out of the pandemic, as people have begun thinking about their time differently.
“Employees want, and increasingly expect, more flexibility for their lives outside of work,” she said.
It is also hoped that the new schedule could draw in more applicants to open city positions and encourage current staff to stay.