The country's president, Nicolas Maduro, had already decided Venezuela's 2.8 million state workers would have Fridays off through April and May. Daily four-hour power cuts around the country were also planned to further save energy.
The plans are a response to a drought that has left the country's largest hydroelectric dam near its minimum operating level. But according to Michael Henderson, lead economist at risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft, the plans indicate just how poorly the country is doing as a whole.
"Venezuela is in the final throes of a downward social and economic spiral borne out of a legacy of terribly misguided policymaking," he said in a note to CNBC. "The announcement of a two-day working week for public sector employees lays bare just how ill-equipped the economy is to deal with temporary supply shocks."
The country's oil-dependent economy was heavily affected by the collapse in global commodity prices. According to Henderson, Venezuela needs triple-digit oil prices in order to stay afloat.
"Venezuela's economy is in freefall. Output fell by 6 percent in 2015 and things are shaping up to be even worse this year," he said. "All in, we're probably talking about a 20 percent GDP contraction from peak to trough, which is akin to Greece post 2010."