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McHenry Co. office goes to 4-day work week

July 8, 2008 3:11:36 PM PDT
Just about every commuter is looking for ways to cut his or her fuel costs.In McHenry County, more than 20 employees in the states attorney's office are saving on gas by working a 40-hour, four-day week.

"I get my errands done instead of having to do them on Saturday or Sunday, and I can spend time with my daughter," said Susan VanDiggelen.

"I love it. It's good, extra family time, saves us money on gas," said Deidra Busch.

Starting Monday, 22 employees at the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office started participating in the Summer Gas Savings Benefit Program. The program allows assistant to switch their five-day work week to four days while maintaining the same working hours.

"It's a rotation schedule - Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays," said office manager Karen Rhodes, who came up with the plan. "And two different times during the two-month schedule, people will have off on a Friday and a Monday."

"I'm pretty excited. This coming up weekend I have a four-day weekend. It's gonna be great," said VanDiggelen.

Rhodes says that for four days, employees start early - at 7 a.m. - and take a shorter lunch break of 37 minutes. They then work a half hour later each day, leaving at 5 p.m.

"Everybody's welcomed it with a lot of energy, enthusiasm and eagerness," said Mchenry Co. State's Attorney Louis Bianchi, who approved the plan.

"We would use our sick days for doctor's appointments and stuff. This way, we can schedule them ahead of time and not have to go into using our time off," said Joyce Synek.

The program is estimated to save administrative assistants 20 percent on fuel expenses for the summer. It conforms to the county's Go Green program.

"I think it's a movement that's going to pick up all over, not only the state of Illinois but the country. We just this morning, got a call from the Kane County State's Attorney's Office. They wanted to know how the program works because they're thinking about it," said Bianchi.

The program runs through August 29. It does not affect lawyers and police.


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