House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has asked the Office of Personnel Management to undertake a comprehensive study on the feasibility and likely effects of a switch to a ten-hour four-day work week for as many federal employees as possible, according to the Washington Post. He put a deadline of 8/31/08 on the report, which also requests recommendations on how to legislate such a move in time to implement by the end of FY 2008. Many benefits are possible under such a system, but the key motivator for Hoyer at this point is to reduce gasoline consumption.
RBR/TVBR observation: Be glad, broadcasters outside the Beltway, that you are not in Washington DC, where the effects of this effort will be most felt if it is put into place, because in addition to reducing gas consumption, it will also likely reduce radio consumption. In the unlikely event that every federal worker gets Friday or Monday off together, it would kill an entire AM and an entire PM drive. More likely, schedules would be staggered. That will save the two drive times, but if it takes a significant number of cars off the road each and every day, it will reduce traffic congestion, hence a reduction in commuting time, with the result being less time spent listening. It probably won’t be that big of a deal, but it’s all we need – one more outside factor breaking negative during radio’s time of need.