Mansfield Pilots Four-Day Work Schedule for Town Hall; Hours of Operation Extended Monday through Thursday
The Town of Mansfield is piloting a new four-day schedule for municipal offices at Town Hall starting Monday, January 9. Residents and businesses doing business with Town offices now have expanded hours at the beginning and end of business days Monday to Thursday. Town Hall office hours for the public, excluding Mansfield Board of Education, Eastern Highlands Health District and the Resident State Troopers office, will be 8:00 AM to 5:15 PM Monday to Wednesday, and 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM Thursday. Mansfield's municipal offices at Town Hall will be closed on Friday, a change from previous hours of 8:00 AM to 12 noon. All other Town buildings will retain their current hours during the six-month pilot.
Town officials are confident and hopeful that the pilot will provide better service to the public by extending building hours Monday through Thursday. A four-day work week also has the potential to provide a better work-life balance for Town employees, which can help Mansfield recruit and retain the highest caliber of individuals in its workforce.
The roughly six-month pilot will go into effect next Monday, January 9 and run through June 30. Except for Holiday weeks, Town Hall hours of operation (i.e., open to the public) will be Monday through Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. and Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. All other Town buildings, including the Mansfield Senior Center, Mansfield Public Library and Mansfield Community Center, will retain their current hours during the pilot period. Eastern Highlands Health District and Mansfield Board of Education, with offices in Town Hall, will keep their normal hours and may be accessed five workdays as usual.
The Town will actively solicit feedback from residents on their experience throughout this trial period to ensure that these new hours provide optimum service to the community before determining the viability of making this a more permanent arrangement.
The concept of providing Town Hall services for more convenient hours has been implemented in many communities across the country. With expanding information and services available online, including forms and applications, residents and businesses need to come into Town Hall less often.
Mansfield’s employee union CSEA SEIU reached agreement with the Town on the implementation of this alternative work schedule pilot. Town Manager Aylesworth says, “We will be promoting employee feedback early and often as we begin implementing this new program. We want to make sure we learn of any initial issues employees experience so that our management team can modify the program as necessary. Similarly, we strongly encourage residents to share their thoughts and feedback with respect to how effectively this new mode of operation for Town Hall is meeting their respective needs. We hope that this will work to everyone’s benefit.”
In both the private and public sector, the concept of a four-day schedule has been successfully implemented in numerous communities here, and in other countries. According to Forbes Magazine, The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 60% of organizations that utilize a four-day workweek have experienced higher productivity and increased employee satisfaction. In addition to reducing carbon emissions as a result of reducing the number of miles employees drive commuting to and from Town Hall, the model can also lead to less electricity consumption and other reduced overhead costs associated with operation of the building