December 22, 2020
Boulder County to test a four-day work week pilot program for some services
For the first four months of 2021, roughly one-third of Boulder County offices and departments will try out a Monday through Thursday extended hours schedule (with no public services offered on Fridays).
Boulder County, Colo. - Beginning Jan. 4, 2021, select Boulder County offices and departments will be piloting a four-day work week for administrative, planning, and non-emergency walk-in services through at least the first four months of the year.
While each of the six (out of a total of 19) participating offices and departments will have some scheduling discretion in continuing a minimum 40-hour week for full-time employees, the intention of the pilot is to test out a Monday through Thursday expanded hours schedule with no public services available on Fridays.
(Note: Law enforcement, public safety, 20th Judicial District Courts, emergency services, snow removal, and other 24/7 operations will continue as usual and will not be impacted by any of the pilot’s scheduling changes.)
Reasons for the pilot program
The pilot program will measure the impact on employee productivity, public satisfaction, and cost savings. At the end of April, the county will look at data and feedback from participating offices and departments and determine next steps.
“One of the surprising benefits coming from the COVID-19 closure of public buildings is that Boulder County has been able to give residents more options for accessing many public services, which don’t require driving to physical offices during specific business hours,” said Michelle Krezek, Chief of Staff for the Boulder County Commissioners’ Office. “These changes have also allowed us to rethink how our employees provide these services which allows for expanded access for the public, cost savings for the taxpayers, and potentially, a better working environment for our employees.”
Participating offices and departments will increase "open” hours Monday through Thursday to give additional public access to services on those days. Since many county walk-in services have been replaced temporarily with remote services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the offices and departments participating in the pilot will be open for either remote public access (phone/email hours) or in-person services from 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (from a current schedule of 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. for most offices).
The extension of hours will provide greater flexibility for community members and is expected to decrease energy use and costs associated with maintaining in-person facilities five days per week. This pilot program follows Jefferson and Adams counties’ adoption of the four-day work week earlier in the year.
In addition to the extended half-hour at the start and end of the day, staff will have time outside of their public-facing hours to complete their workload. For example, Motor Vehicle Division employees will have time outside of “open” hours to return phone calls and reply to emails from the public Monday through Thursday. Likewise, staff from other offices and departments will be able to catch up on project and administrative work when they're not actively interacting with the public.
Participating Offices and Departments
The list of offices and departments that plan to begin the pilot on Jan. 4 include:
- Assessor’s Office
- Board of County Commissioners
- Clerk & Recorder's Office: Elections, Motor Vehicle (in-person/walk-in), and Recording Divisions
- Human Resources Department
- Community Planning & Permitting Department* (starting Feb. 1)
- Public Works Department, including the Transportation Division and Resource Conservation Division**
Boulder County will launch the program at the start of the year under the condition that the pilot could end at any time, and, even with positive outcomes, the county may decide not to institute the four-day workweek on a permanent basis.
On Jan. 4, the hours of business for the participating offices and departments will be updated on the county "contact us" footers of the impacted program and services webpages and changed with Google My Business. For a full list of Boulder County offices and departments, visit our Offices and Departments webpage.
*The Community Planning & Permitting Department plans to begin the pilot on Feb. 1 in order to work with customers and staff on scheduling.
**The Hazardous Materials Management Facility (part of the Resource Conservation Division) will be open to the public on Fridays and closed on Mondays, per its usual schedule.