Due to the sequester cuts to federal programs, employees at the EPA may experience a reduction of up to thirteen work days this year. How you see this kind of situation depends upon your point of view.
As a former state government worker who experienced a similar kind of work furlough which resulted in about 20 days a year with no work and no pay, it turned out to enjoyable and not at all a tragedy. (Some media reports about the sequester may be overreactions, but this is what the media is infamous for at times.)
Consider the fact that in some cases furlough days can be combined with weekends, so a worker has a three-day or even four-day weekend when there are national holidays. The extra time off can be very helpful to workers who have home projects to complete, or visitors staying with at their homes. It also provides more opportunities to take small trips and enjoy some light travel. There also could be more time to start a side-business or take an online course.
Additionally, when people experience disruption in their life routines some take it as an opportunity to reflect upon how happy they are and if they need to make important changes. In the case of the state employee furloughs, most said they enjoyed having the extra time, and didn’t miss the money they did not get. In other words, it was not at all a disaster, nor even slightly damaging. It actually turned out to be a life enhancement. A research study conducted in the UK focused on civil servants found some of them were so bored their health was at risk. The most bored were more likely to die from heart disease. Could it be healthier for some government workers to spend less time at the office?
Funny how that possibility is not being reported in the mainstream media.
Image Credit: Shyam, Wiki Commons