Los Altos Leads the Way in City Four Day Work Week Model

office workplace

In a post-pandemic world marked by shifting attitudes towards remote work and work-life balance, traditional work schedules are undergoing a transformation. 

Over the course of the past year, the City of Los Altos has refined a flexible work program – allowing some 150 employees to customize their individual work schedule. Of the three scheduling options available, the 4/10 option (or four-ten hour days), remains the most popular. However, employees can also choose between a traditional, five-day work week, or nine longer days over two weeks with every other Friday off.

“They’re saying to you they trust that you’re getting the work done, here’s an opportunity for you to have some time for yourself at the end of the week, and you’re still putting in the time,” City Clerk Melissa Thurman told ABC7.

This new policy marks a milestone in governmental employers making efforts to provide public servants with work-life balance improvements that have been afforded to their counterparts in the private sector – namely Silicon Valley technology companies. As the trend toward hourly flexible work arrangements continues to grow, employers and employees across the Bay Area may soon find themselves embracing more adaptive work models.

From remote work to compressed workweeks, the adoption of flexible work models is reshaping perceptions and engagement with the modern workplace, altering work-life integration and opening new possibilities for local professionals. In the case of Los Altos, a successful balance between servicing the public five days a week and giving workers greater autonomy was found.