To ask you a couple of questions about your working hours?(35 Posts)
Posing here for traffic and honest opinions and maybe some ideas on what I can do to change my current situation but still be happy.
I work 4 days a week and have Tuesdays off to spend day with DS.
I'm starting to think I can't do my job in 4 days. I'm a manager in a small, busy company and the only person who does my role.
I find Mondays I'm catching up with the work leftover from previous week, then Tuesdays I'm off. I spend Wednesdays catching up with Tuesdays work then Thurs and Fri more work is piled on (day-to-day tasks - mostly emails!) and project work gets left and lags behind!
Currently thinking maybe I should go back to 5 days and finish half an hour earlier instead so I get an hour every evening with DS - on the days I work I get half an hour with him before bath and bedtime starts.
What does everyone else do? How do you balance work and spending time with your DC?
I've been in this role for 6 months. Like I said previously it's a small company and they've never had anyone do my role before so there's lots I can do to make an impact and change things but I feel like I don't have the time.
I really like this job and don't want to leave.
Maybe I need to learn time management skills? I don't know. Would be great to share your thoughts and experiences.
So they don't have anyone to cover your day off, expecting you to do 5 days in 4 normal days? No wonder you are on the hop. Did you reduce days but work longer on other days? Or was there supposed to be help?
I reduced my days down to 4. I don't work longer on the other 4 days to make up for it. No one covers my work on my day off.
I work 4 days Mon-Thursday and it works ok. If I'm really busy I check emails on a Friday, clear down all the rubbish and prepare my to-do list for Monday. I don't feel it's essential to do that most of the time though.
Emails are a real time thief. I block time out in my calendar for project work and treat it like a meeting with myself - close down Outlook, phone to VM etc until I've got to my 'finish' time.
Either you need be brave with your boss and explain that it can't be done. After all why pay 5 day week if everyone can do it in 4. Or just work at normal pace doing same level of work you previously did. That's presuming they pay you 4/5 of normal wage?
If you reduce your days, you also need to reduce your work load, otherwise you're doing 5 days and getting laid for 4. You're not alone in that though.
A woman in my office works 3 x 10 hour days Mon-Wed, and works at home on the We'd. So she's only 5 hours short of our 35 hr working week. Seems to work well.
I think part of your problem is the mid week break. You're always catching up. 4 days on the straight would work better.
Can you suggest to your company that the job becomes a job share, so that it's covered for 5 days a week?
I officially work 3 days and do about 6 so no help I'm afraid! I can offer solidarity though
You have to be clear that you are paid 80% of a salary, and therefore are obviously only able to do 8-% of the full time job. Keep putting it back at them.... "I'm very happy to do that, but which do you want me to prioritise in the hours I have available" type thing.
(I don't know what your salary is, as a manager, but) Suggest they use the 20% of your salary they are saving, on getting you X hours of administrative support / data support / junior or clerical (obv., whatever suits your role). It would be likely to be more than one days worth, and maybe you could hire someone for10/12/15 hours across the week to take some of the more mundane / less specialised things off your workload.
It sounds like whatever happens you're going to be trying to do a full-time job on part-time hours?
I quite like my hours at the moment. I work full-time - Mon-Thurs 7:30am-4:15pm, and 7:30am-12:30pm on a Fri. It means I'm home by 5pm during the week, so get a good few hours with DC in the evening when I have them, and then Fri afternoon too( their father and I are separated). Obviously it depends on whether you can do the early start though? It also means I tend to beat the traffic!
I know I'm fortunate in that my company have a Variable Working Hours program, and people do a variety of different hours.
I hAve fridays off. theres a clear break then.
I agree four days straight would work better for you. I work part time and had to change my days in over the summer to cover childcare and it had a real impact on my work. Now I'm back to my normal 3 days straight and its much better again as I'm not catching up twice so to speak.
I do a school hour day on Monday, then three long days and a half day on Friday. I sometimes (always) check emails on Sunday night so Monday morning isn't an onslaught... in most school holidays I do a three day week. If I have to catch up with stuff on an evening I don't mind as it balances out with the flexibility I get. And I still do the full job for a bit less pay!!
Is email the only way people communicate with each other? Is everyone cc-ing everyone? Can that be changed in some way?
There are software platforms which can help with that. Is your company able to change way people communicate with each other?
Fridays off work well if you have to deal with a lot of emails because people who send them on a Friday don't necessarily expect an answer til Monday - this doesn't apply to the rest of the week
And if you've tried a 3 day weekend you never go back.
Incidentally I'm a manager and no-one covers me on my day off but it still works.
Thanks all for replies. I did think today maybe I should swap the Tuesday off for a Thursday - I can't take Mondays or Fridays off because of Friday deadlines and Monday morning staff meeting which I need to be there for. That would give me Monday, Tuesday, weds in office to get a good 3 days in a row in.
We have just hired a junior person - was thinking of giving her some of my work to do. She isn't great tbh but she's the owner's daughter so we are stuck with her
I do 3dpw (theoretically 21 hours) but realistically do more like 28-30 hours i.e. the equivalent of 4dpw. That's probably 25ish hours in the office and the rest in evening or on my days off. But my theory is that if I worked 4 days I would end up working the equivalent of 5+ days. And tbh I am paid very well so expect to have to do more than contractual hours. If you are in a similar job then you would probably do the same. I agree with a PP that you have to prioritise (in conjunction with your boss) and some stuff has to either wait or not happen at all. But would also recommend working all your days together so you only have one day of feeling like all you are doing is catching up.
I work 4 days. My day off is Monday and I think working four consecutive days is better than when I used to take Wednesday off. Is that something you could do.
The other thing that makes it possible is I have a clear handover plan in place. On a Friday I write an email to everyone on my current projects saying what needs to happen on Monday in my absence, mostly delegating tasks (I run a small team) and letting my line manager know if I need her to step in to do any of my managerial activities to make sure client deadlines get met. In general, when planning deadlines and resourcing hours for projects I make sure that my day off gets built in. If these type of strategies aren't in place for you, you need to discuss getting them in place with your line manager.
I also block out my calendar for catching up on emails on a Tuesday so nobody tries to schedule meetings with me. I do any line manager activities over coffee/lunch (and expense it). If I have to work outside my regular hours, I make sure wherever possible I only schedule tasks that can be done while watching telly/ drinking wine (emails, planning, reviewing stuff done by the more competent team members, 'having ideas'). I work from home two days so I can start at 7am and not be rushing to pick the kids up from nursery.
antimatter intrigued by your reply. Would you mind linking to one of the software platforms you refer to?
What time do you start and finish? Could you add on an extra hour per day to compensate? Or do 5 shorter days ? It really depends on your job and your home situation .
For people saying you essentially do an extra day's worth of hours I really think you should be questioning that with your line managers. Is it not documented by time sheets etc. I would be asking to be paid for the time or expecting them to work with me to make sure I wasn't exceeding my hours so greatly as a matter of course. I would consider it a failing of my own if one of my line reports was in that situation.
Tremolo that's a genius idea about the coffee/lunch line manager bits.
I agree you must build your day off into project planning.
OP It's a shame you can't do 4 days in a row, if I couldn't I'd opt for Weds off as it always seems the quietest day, the initial enthusiasm of the week has worn off but the end of week panic has yet to set in
Could the staff meeting be changed to a different day so you can take Monday's off?
Tremolo - your comment about reporting the extra hours to manager - mine is very clearly documented in my time sheets. My boss is very aware and does longer hours himself. At my level it is normal and our pay is such that it acknowledges that this is not a 9-5 job. (I get paid more for my 3dpw then most people get paid for 5dpw.) I used to work for a "Big 4" firm and did similar hours there and there were many at my level who did double the hours they were paid for.
I could choose to work 4 or 5dpw but would much rather do the three and have the flexibility to do the extra hours when it suits me.
However I would agree with your comment for those in more average paid jobs.
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