Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Engineering Technologies, Safety, and Construction

Publication Date



Four day work weeks have been employed by industry, state agencies, and recently by higher education. The generally perceived benefit of the four day work week is reduced energy costs. These costs savings include more efficient building operations and less energy consumption driving to a facility. The generally perceived negative impact of four day operations, particularly of state agencies, is a decreased level of service.

How much energy would be saved and could the level of service be maintained in a higher educational environment by switching from five to four day weeks? This study occurs at a regional university within an Industrial and Engineering Technology department that has exclusive use of a building. The department contains seven degree programs ranging from TAC-ABET programs to non-accredited technical degree programs. During the study period all classes and laboratories were scheduled Monday through Thursday. Staff only worked Monday through Thursday. Faculty but not students could gain access to the building on Fridays.

The objective of this paper is to study the costs, benefits, and educational impacts of changing the five day academic and building availability week to four days a week. The paper will present the costs savings and the results of a survey of stakeholders collected during one academic quarter. The results of the energy costs are presented in tabular form and the results of the survey are presented in graphical form. The data and conclusions are expected to help decision makers make informed decisions when contemplating an alternative work schedule for higher education.


This article was originally published in ASEE 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


ASEE 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


© 2010 American Society for Engineering Education