Should I go back to work 4 or 5 days?

(12 Posts)
CocoE Fri 18-Oct-13 22:00:42

Going back to work in January. I work in banking but am very lucky to have a flexible job where I work independently most of the time, so I can easily work from home (though this is very unproductive). I am really struggling about whether I should go back 4 or 5 days. That one day off would mean everything to me to be with the babies but realistically, I am not sure I could actually do my job (at least not well) without that extra day and then would end up working late in those 4 days but still having my pay cut by 20%. Anyone tried this before? Any suggestions about how to rearrange my flex time?

whattodoo Fri 18-Oct-13 22:07:27

Could you apply to condense your hours? Do your full week's hours in 4 days, getting paid a full week salary?

CocoE Fri 18-Oct-13 22:17:11

That would mean probably mean working from 8am to 9pm those 4 days so not only would i be exhausted, I wouldn't even see the DC at all those days. Thx for the suggestion though.

Yama Fri 18-Oct-13 22:22:25

Personally, I would work 5 days. No point in a pay cut if you are working as hard.

I condensed my working hours to 4 days once (pre kids) and hated it.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 18-Oct-13 22:23:07

I'd do 4 to see if you can manage it. You can always increase it if it isn't working? More difficult to start at 5 and drop one.

SirChenjin Fri 18-Oct-13 22:25:13

I'd start off with 4, with a review in 6 months to a year?

letsgetreadytoramble Fri 18-Oct-13 22:26:19

I do 4 days compressed, but nothing like the hours that you have to do - I leave the house at 7am and am home at 7pm. The one weekday off that I have with my son means everything to me, because my weekends are consumed with batch cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and getting everything ready for the following week.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 22:28:18

I worked 4 days when I first went back - will never do so again.

- you still have the same amount of work to do so you end up working late / weekends / 5th day anyway
- you get a negative perception at work (you shouldn't but you do)
- you get paid 20% less
- people book you in for meetings / calls on the 5th day anyway.
- you spend day 5 on the blackberry and your toddler learns to hate it

Aware that not all jobs are the same but I would say that banking would be...

Go back 5 days and work 9-5 strictly.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 22:29:20

Agree with SirChenjin - you can always use your accrued holiday to do 4 days a week initially.

SwimmingMom Sun 20-Oct-13 19:15:31

Agree completely with Tondelayo. When I went back 4 days had the exact same experience. Also it gives people the 'impression' that you aren't serious about your career.(No promotions!) If I had to do it again, I would either do 3 days a week (clearly part time & not to be confused by colleagues as 'almost' full time) with clear out-of-office messages to set expectations.

Also a friend went back to 9-4 for mon-fri for 30 hours a week arrangement & found it quite good, no overwork & clear boundaries. But she had a 30 minute commute each way which she didn't mind.

It's very hard to get part time once you start full time, so I would try every part time option before I resign to full time.

Good luck.

CocoE Wed 30-Oct-13 21:29:54

Thanks all! I've decided to go back 5 days, 1 day from home. I agree that gives a better impression and means I won't be working late for free.

AHardDaysWrite Sun 03-Nov-13 11:54:15

I'm a teacher at middle management level and after dc1 was born, I went back 4 days a week. I loved my extra day with him, but it had lots of downsides: I had less teaching to do, but was still expected to do all of my management role (was only paid 80% of the salary for it though!) I felt I was viewed negatively by others at work for being pt in a more senior role. And it made a huge difference in pay - £6000 net over the year, for an extra 39 days at home. That meant we couldn't afford holidays or anything like that. I'm on ML again but this time I'm going back 5 days. It won't be much more work but it's an extra £500 net a month which means we can have a cleaner and go on holiday. I used to spend loads of time at weekends cleaning so I actually think this will give us better quality family time.

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