Imagine if instead of a five-day week, businesses adopted a four-day schedule whenever possible. How much might our world change?

Imagine how much gasoline and electricity could be saved. Imagine enjoying cleaner air and water.

Imagine having increased structure and productivity to workdays. Imagine having one less day to set the alarm clock, rouse the kids from bed and pay for day care.

Not every business can switch to a four-day schedule, but more businesses should investigate the possibility. Such a schedule would undoubtedly improve morale and attract highly qualified employees.

We’re not advocating fewer working hours. Employees could work four 10- or 12-hour days. They would get just as much work done but drive to the office one less time each week.

However such an idea should only become reality if it benefits all parties involved, including the businesses.

Maybe it is time for businesses throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire to rethink the standard workweek.

Not only would it help with the time crunch most families experience, but it might well reduce our dependence on foreign oil by lessening the amount of gasoline used for commuting. And if there’s one thing the United States should be doing, it is working to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.