Taking a hint from other communities in the area that have gone in the same direction, Commerce Township officials have opted to implement a trial four-day work week this summer beginning next Friday, June 10, and ending on Sept. 30. While it may not be ideal for those who want to utilize the township offices on Fridays during that period, the Board of Trustees took a step in the right direction by putting a four-day week into temporary practice to see what cost savings could be realized by such a move.
Throughout the summer, Commerce Township Hall will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:15 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., giving township residents and extra hour in the morning and an extra hour in the late afternoon to conduct their business at Township Hall. Usually during the summer, the offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
While the modified service hours are a good thing, particularly for early risers or those who work until later than 4:30 p.m., what we are most optimistic about is the fact that the move — even if only temporary — will save the township much-needed money. And that two-fold rationale — additional hours of service on four days, plus the expected cost savings — strikes us as a logical step in the right direction.
Other communities in the lakes area have, at least for the time being, thrown the traditional five-day work week out the window, instead opting to save money on utility costs incurred through Friday operations. Wixom has already gone in this direction and, according to Commerce Township Clerk Dan Munro, has saved roughly $48,000.
That may not seem like much in the grand scheme of municipal operating budgets, but that saved money could easily be used to pay a township staffer’s salary, therefore allowing the community to save someone’s job, for example.
There will be some adjustment needed to get used to the township only being open Monday through Thursdays this summer, not only from residents but also township staff; however, in the long run, we see this as a positive step towards efficiency.
Plus, because the township is only in this four-day work week period temporarily, if there are significant negative repercussions or consequences township officials can always scrap the idea and return to the more traditional five-day work week.
It never hurt anyone to try something new, and the trial four-day work week in Commerce Township is no exception to that adage.