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4-day workweek pilot kicks off in Golden

The program aims to see if a shorter, 32-hour work week helps with retention and employee well-being.

GOLDEN, Colo. — If you have wanted to try out a four-day workweek – Golden might be the place to be employed. 

This summer, the city will launch "The Best for Golden," a program trial that moves all police department employees from a 40-hour workweek to a 32-hour workweek without a change in pay. 

The trial begins in July and will run through the end of the year.

The city said they hope the shorter workweek will improve employee retention and engagement, increase wellbeing and elevate efficiency. 

"Organizations around the world, including governments, have seen important benefits from adopting a four-day workweek, and we are excited for Golden to be the first city in our region to experiment with this innovative program,” said Scott Vargo, Golden's city manager. 

The city said they chose the police department as the pilot group because of the department's scheduling flexibility, 24-hour coverage needs, variety of positions and more. 

Service levels, days open, patrol staffing and coverage will not change, the city said.  

"This four-day workweek means working less hours and doing work differently," the city said in a release. "Not working less and doing less."

The city partnered with the non-profit 4 Day Week Global to develop and evaluate the program. 

Dale Whelehan. the CEO of that organization, said frontline workers have been placed under significant pressure over the last few years, particularly with the public health restricted movements mandates we saw during the COVID-19. 

"This has undoubtedly led to higher levels of burnout in the policing profession, eroding of their personal wellbeing and a likely impact on professional performance," he said. "A four-day week helps in addressing the longstanding structural issues which perpetuate fatigue in the profession, leading to not just an opportunity to rethink the policing workforce, but also improve policing standards for the 21st century complex society we live in."

The city plans to track and measure the success of the program by providing updates to the community at the three and six-month marks. The city said if the trial is successful, it will look into expanding to other city departments.

The community is invited to learn more about the program at a listening session hosted by the city on May 22 at 5:30 p.m.


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