Efficiency Tip: Shortening the workweek

October 10, 2016 -  By

is66355483friday-corkboardTo quell unproductive Fridays, Outback Landscape, a $2.5 million mostly design/build company in Idaho Falls, Idaho, went to a four-day workweek for its production staff.

“A lot of times that five hours on Friday afternoon was fluff,” says Operations Manager Tyler Washburn. “Now, guys push themselves to have the job done by Thursday night so they don’t have to come in on Friday.”

Now on Fridays, the rest of the staff prepares for the upcoming week. An on-staff mechanic performs routine maintenance, extending the life and performance of the equipment. The administrative staff coordinates the week’s job packets and handles customer concerns. Leadership can pause and focus on big picture issues. The operation is leaner and more customer-focused than ever, Washburn says.

Crews now work four eight- to 10-hour days, amounting to about 40 hours instead of 50-55 hours in a five-day week. Reducing windshield time also cut overtime and fuel costs.

“Keeping the trucks in the garage for an extra day each week saves $12,000-$14,000 a year,” he estimates.

Photo: ©istock.com/Sean824

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