Birmingham, Ala., and several other local governments have instituted optional four-day workweeks for employees in an effort to decrease the amount of money they have to spend on gas, reduce traffic and, some say, improve productivity.

American City & County asked the readers of its weekly e-mail newsletter if they are in favor of four-day workweeks for local and state government employees. Below are some of the responses.

“There would be a potential negative impact on the productivity of the private sector workforce if the window of time to deal with city and county agencies was limited to four days. People generally have to take time off of work for things like driver license renewals and other government services, [so a four-day workweek] would narrow the opportunities people have to get this done.”
Ralph Norman, regional manager of Transportation & Infrastructure Engineering, Jacobs Engineering, Cincinnati

“The grand argument for extending workdays to shorten workweeks across to non-essential services would doubtless help morale, but [the] entire work facility [must] adjust its workweek to the same days/hours [to maximize savings].”
Pete Kirby, retired 911 supervisor, Fairfax County, Va.

“We are in favor of the four-day workweek. I don't know how [customers] would feel about our office being closed another day, but I would hope that [having] longer hours during the [week] would be to their benefit.”
Doris Mason, Hall County, Neb., treasurer

“There are a lot of options, and government agencies need to decide if closing will benefit the agency and the community, or [if] they [will] have to hire more employees to work on the days that the current employees will be off. More employees means more payroll and increased taxes. This needs to be thought out before placed into action.”
First Lt. John McElhenny, Lewes, Del., Fire Department