The Eastern Shore Community Services Board is trying a 32-hour workweek as a way to recruit and retain employees. The thinking goes: If an Eastern Shore agency can’t compete with other areas on salaries, having more time off could be an attractive amenity.
While the local initiative took some scheduling management and is a test run, a 32-hour work week has worked well elsewhere.
We eagerly await the reaction and results of the trial period. In the meantime, we think it is a great idea — and an idea other agencies, governments, and businesses should consider.
The fact is, workers on the Eastern Shore could earn better pay just about anywhere else. But they trade their earning potential to live in a special community with a strong sense of place.
Living and working on the Eastern Shore of Virginia means you place more importance on your lifestyle and surroundings than your pay rate.
At the community services board, employees now will get the same pay at 32 hours as they did at 40 hours. It is fascinating to consider how someone might spent those extra eight hours per week.
Maybe it means achieving a better work-life balance — investing more time in self-care and with family and friends.
But maybe it means more time to volunteer at the ballfield, the church, or with civic activities — investing more time in important community endeavors.
The community services board’s 32-hour workweek has the potential not only to retain and attract workers, but also to make a positive impact on the Eastern Shore.