With roughly two million federal civilian employees, of which 15% (~300,000+) work in the Washington DC Metro area, demand put on the daily infrastructure (I-66, I-95, etc) is substantial. Currently, most personnel would work a normal 40 hour work week (5 days x 8 hours). If an AWS (Alternate Work Schedule) was put in place, where each employee would work eight, 9 hour days and one, 8 hour day per pay period, this would mandate employees have every other Friday (or alternately selected day) as leave. If you consider the impact that it would have on energy consumption of buildings (from 2 days-3 days of a no/low use state; specifically during typical work hours when electricity consumption is greatest i.e. most costly) it would be large. Further, the emissions and congestion on roadways would significantly decrease as most personnel do not take advantage of typical “van-pool” or car-pooling and choose to commute as an individual. Along with a telework policy that would affect the first week of the pay period, this could potentially double the overall impact, while still keeping productivity positive and the workforce active and engaged.
The impact of this mandate would not only be positive on the workplace (i.e. reduction in expenditures for electricity and facilities maint.), but would extend to the home. A more relaxed, refreshed and happier employee could spend more time at home with their family rebuilding frayed relationships due to the stresses of work and a poor economy. On the AWS leave-day, money could be spent on shopping day trips, or extended weekend vacations, reviving the local and regional economies. Lastly, the reduction in emissions and usage of fossil fuels would increase air quality around large metro hubs and keep the environment cleaner. Although a localized trial would be instituted at first, the possibility of expansion into the federal workforce as a whole (where applicable) is immense, and therefore the cost savings similarly impressive.