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Working on non-working day - do you do it?

(103 Posts)
resipsa Fri 28-Feb-14 20:38:57

I'm just interested in knowing if the position I adopt is unreasonable.

For years, I worked full time but after having DD I reduced my pattern to 4 days a week with Friday being my non-working day.

As I see it, it's like an extended weekend and as I am not being paid, I am not obliged to work (unless arranged in advance because the work requires it which happens 8-10 times a year). I imagine that many who work for 5 days a week view their weekends in the same way.

And yet, every Friday, without fail, I receive at least one email or phone call which asks me to do something. These are usually preceded by 'I know it's your day off but...'. If I see/hear the message and I take the view that I need to reply, I do. Otherwise I leave it until Monday. I am being criticised (subtley) for this approach. Apparently, it makes things 'awkward'. Sometimes I don't see/hear the message until then anyway as Friday is, of course, my non-working day.

What do you do? Do you make yourself available regardless or take the view that it is your time?

To give it context, I'm a solicitor (senior but not a partner) working for a top 50 firm outside London.

mummy1973 Fri 28-Feb-14 20:55:17

I too work 4 days. You can take two approaches here and only you can decide what works for you:
1. It is your day off and you take a hard line and don't look at your emails and make it known that unless previously agreed you won't be working - paid for 4 days and that's what you'll give them.
2. A flexible approach whereby you do check your emails and action anything urgent to keep things moving along.

Depends what you can do and are willing to do?
I have my work emails on my phone and do check and action/move things along. I don't feel I have to but it has reflected well on me and mentioned in end of year assessments.

mummy1973 Fri 28-Feb-14 20:56:54

Meant to say it is a shame you feel put under pressure and I guess it may be tempting to do option 1?!!!

Hexbugsmakemeitch Fri 28-Feb-14 21:01:41

Start sending them stuff on Saturdays?

Cleanandclothed Fri 28-Feb-14 21:02:46

Do you have an out of office on? I do on my phone but not my email - I check my email but probably only every 2-3 hours. Who is it sending these emails? (The ones that specifically acknowledge it is your non working day but ask you to do something anyway).
Have you considered having a different day off? Sometimes Friday deadlines seem to have an urgency to them that isn't there the rest of the week.

sassytheFIRST Fri 28-Feb-14 21:04:05

I'm a teacher. Of course I work on my day off.

PortofinoRevisited Fri 28-Feb-14 21:06:30

I would put Out of Office on and not check emails. I am always flexible when I have a day off and stuff, but if you work 4/5ths it is WRONG to do work that you are not being paid for.

PortofinoRevisited Fri 28-Feb-14 21:08:22

What is the worst that could happen if it had to wait til Monday? Unlikely that the world will end, someone will die etc.

Sillylass79 Fri 28-Feb-14 21:09:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

spookyskeleton Fri 28-Feb-14 21:09:52

As others have said, I do check my emails on my days off (I work 4 days a week). I do this for my own peace of mind as I like to know what I am going into when I get to work and it just eases my workload so I don't mind. However, I only reply to emails that are urgent and I don't do any work connected to my emails - it is really just email management.

Personal choice - a colleague would rather stick pins in her eyes than check work emails on a day off wink

mummy1973 Fri 28-Feb-14 21:10:54

Also depends how flexible work are the other way. So if you needed to do an hour on Fri could you just take that back on Monday? My work are very flexible that way so it is a bit of give and take. Love the idea of sending work on Sat for them to action!

PrincessOfChina Fri 28-Feb-14 21:11:27

A very senior colleague advised me not to return four days after mat leave (despite working 4 days herself). She said you end up doing a full time job, but get paid less for it.

BusinessUnusual Fri 28-Feb-14 21:13:55

The trouble is, if you start doing it, it becomes expected, and then if several people want you to do "one little thing" for them, you could be checking all day.

Is there a time of day eg nap time when it would be convenient? So you could say "at 2pm I will check my email and spend no more than half an hour doing anything urgent. Please discuss internally as if several things come through I will prioritise"

But don't you have a vague idea where a case/deal is by thu afternoon and if it needs urgent action on Friday?

monopoly123 Fri 28-Feb-14 21:14:44

I have been a lot more recently due to workload. But I've discussed it with my manager and I'm logging everything extra. At the minute I'm going to get time off in lieu but over the next quarter we're going to figure out if I should be paid for the extra hours (upping my contract from 0.6 to 0.8 FTE) or how they're going to manage the gap. To be honest I don't want the extra work/money, but I want to do my job well, so it's difficult.
Also the time off in lieu will be never ending as I'm sure when I cash in on it, I'll be really busy before/after.

PortofinoRevisited Fri 28-Feb-14 21:15:08

Tis the reason I haven't taken my Belgian parental leave yet. I can't afford to take a month or 3 with no pay in one chunk but if I go 4/5ths or 2.5 I will end up doing much more work than I am paid for.

beanandspud Fri 28-Feb-14 21:33:26

I will often do bits of work or check emails out of hours. Although I work full time, if I have an odd day off for an inset day etc. I will respond to anything urgent. Equally I will do the odd hour or so at a weekend and often have long working days.

But, I work for a company that gives me really flexible working so if DS is sick I can work a bit from home around him without using holiday and I can easily take time off for school plays and sports day.

It all evens out in the end so I don't resent working on my day off. Only you know whether you get the time back in other ways or flexibility at other times.

EBearhug Fri 28-Feb-14 21:33:42

I put an out of office on and don't check my work mail. The world, nor even the company or department has yet fallen apart because I haven't read any email instantly.

This is not entirely true; I will do some extra work outside of working hours, but it's extra training, some voluntary charitable stuff we're involved in, and I occasionally offer to be available to support colleagues working on out of hours maintenance where I have experience/knowledge that might be helpful when things go wrong. I will ignore other work mail if I am doing this; I do also ignore mail at points during the day, such as if I am concentrating on a particular piece of work. It's no different than if I were in a meeting, and I also wouldn't read a mail for an hour or so in that case.

I do also sometimes have to do out of hours maintenance overnight or at weekends, but that will be planned in advance, and I can claim sometimes overtime, more likely TOIL. I do a week of on-call about one week in 7, and I answer my work mobile for that - but then I do get an on-call allowance. It is possible that my manager could call me out if something major has gone wrong, even if I'm not on-call. This happens rarely enough that I probably would answer the phone to him, and if I were at home and able to log on (no guarantees of that, if I'm not rota-ed on-call), then there's enough good-will that I would probably do the work, as it's not something which happens enough to feel abusive - I mean, once every 2 years or so.

But I very rarely do my actual day job out of working hours, and I have also told off my managers when they have replied to my emails when they're not working, usually pointing out that they're no good to us if they collapse because they haven't taken enough breaks.

They love me really...

PervyMuskrat Fri 28-Feb-14 21:45:44

I don't check emails on my non-working day but I have kept my work mobile on for the last few weeks as work has been hectic and occasionally something important may need doing. I am generally flexible and am happy to work on my day off if the business needs it but I would rather work the whole day and build up the time in lieu or be paid for it.

Occasionally I have to call people on their day off and only do it if there is no choice. There is a good rapport amongst the part timers where I work so they know I only call if it's urgent and vice versa. It works well for us as a team.

AndHarry Fri 28-Feb-14 21:59:01

No. I will occasionally take my laptop home if I'm up against a tight deadline and can't finish my work in my usual working hours and I dial into conference calls on my personal phone if it's convenient but I have flatly refused to have a work mobile and don't check emails. So far no one has died and the company hasn't folded.

resipsa Fri 28-Feb-14 22:37:23

Thanks all. Different approaches are adopted, obviously. I do put on an out-of-office which I have recently amended so it states in terms that I do not work on Fridays but this does not deter the contacts on that day.

I guess it boils down to an individual's perception of urgency. As others have said, there's little that in reality can't wait until Monday but there are some for whom the concept of 'delaying' reasonably is anathema.

resipsa Fri 28-Feb-14 22:44:23

PS PrincessofChina - your colleague is very wise!

BusinessUnusual Fri 28-Feb-14 23:11:46

Is it colleagues or clients who call?

resipsa Fri 28-Feb-14 23:37:19


AuditAngel Fri 28-Feb-14 23:54:11

I work full time, I have a manager who works 4 days. I email her when she is off on a Wednesday, not necessarily expecting a response that day, but if I wait to send the mail the next day I would forget.

I would not expect her to get down to serious work on her day off, but similarly would appreciate a reply to a quick question if she knows it (and sees the email) but would not be upset if no response.

I work evenings and weekends if necessary. No overtime or TOIL, but I also know that I can go to school meetings, assemblies or work from home if DC are sick. I have been known to drive in (with sick DC), sign documents that are urgent, then go home again. It is a trade off.

BackforGood Sat 01-Mar-14 00:00:27

If I'm not working on a Friday, then I don't turn my work phone on, nor look at my work e-mails. I keep my personal phone and e-mail account separate from my work one.

The answer to the more general title is that yes, I often work on my non working days, but I am able to then swap the time for time off when it suits me, so I'm quite happy to be flexible. Also, I don't have a baby, or any pre-schoolers anymore, so I have that much more flexibility.
When my dc were little, no, I couldn't work when they were at home as I was looking after them.

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