It didn't take new lightbulbs or using less air conditioning for the summer, but the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce still managed to go green last month when it offered its employees a four-day work week.
The chamber officially began the four-day work week policy on Monday, July 7, after the management team discussed ways to help employees who were struggling with high gas prices, as well as helping to protect the planet.
"We want to be more responsible and to put the focus on energy use. We know that taking 22 cars off the road is not even a drop in the bucket, but what we hope to do is to demonstrate what can be done," Lyn Taylor, president and CEO of the Chamber said.
According to Taylor, the concept of the program is not to have the offices shut down to conserve electricity, but instead, "The idea is to take a few cars of the road a few days a week."
Other alternatives that were discussed included telecommuting and carpooling, though neither worked out since, as Taylor said, "Our business is people, and much of what we do has to happen in person with other individuals."
Taylor said that carpooling might have failed since not all employees live near each other.
It took about three weeks to iron out the details, Taylor said, but as a result, the Chamber decided on a four-day work week in which some employees do not come in on Mondays and others do not come in on Fridays. The employees then makes up the hours lost on the four days they come in to work. Employees can choose how to divide up the extra hours, whether it is coming in early the other days, staying later or both.
According to Taylor, this allows the Chamber to remain open five days a week.