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compressed hours

(28 Posts)
MunchkinJess Wed 18-Dec-13 09:57:36

I am not due to return to work for a few months yet but would like to start getting my head around options.

I am the main breadwinner so will need to do full time hour.

normal working day is 9 to 5:30 mon to Fri.

if I was to consider compressed hours over 4 days what pros and cons should I consider and what would be my realistic day at work eg start and finish time etc ?

thanks for the advice.

chanie44 Wed 18-Dec-13 18:52:05

Working 9-5:30 means you will have 7.5 hours to make up, if you have an hour lunch break. This works out to be just under 2 hours extra a day so 8-6:30 for example. If I were you, I'd had a shorter lunch beak if you have an hour

I do compressed hours:

Pros - a day off during the week, one less day of childcare to pay for, can attend appointments and tidy the house.

Cons - the long hours are really tiring so you can't really 'enjoy' the extra day, you sometimes feel like you are part time even though you do full time hours, you barely see the children for the other days, coordinating childcare with your partner.

It is worth it for me, but there are times when I do think it isn't....

FloweryTaleofNewYork Wed 18-Dec-13 19:29:02

Is your job the kind where you actually work 9-5.30 Monday to Friday and take a full hour for lunch or the kind where most people work a bit longer and don't take a full hour?

bunjies Wed 18-Dec-13 19:42:33

I do my f/t hours over 4 days & it's working out really well for me (been doing it for nearly 2 years). My thoughts are as follows.

I love having a day off in the week.

I only take 1/2 hr for lunch.

I prefer having Mondays off as I don't get the Sunday evening blues. Also I find it's nice being in the office on a Friday as people are generally in a good mood! Trains are often less crowded too.

Am out at 6.30am and back at 6.30pm so am tired when I get home. Usually go to bed at 10pm so not much of an evening after dcs in bed.

Feel I can commit fully when I'm at work as I'm there early & leave late. Also don'tind staying later if needed.

MunchkinJess Thu 19-Dec-13 06:12:07

its the kind of job where you work through your lunch break and can work past your hours.

I do like the idea of having monday off as Fridays tend to be our busiest day and as you say travel is far quieter.

I work across different time zones so having someone start at 8 instead of 9 may be attractive to them( I hope lol )

WoodBurnerBabe Thu 19-Dec-13 06:28:17

I do compressed hours, but slightly differently - I do 2 x 9 hour days and 2 x 6 hour days to make up 30 hours - it's 4 days in 4 days, but allows me to pick the kids up from school 3 days (my 6 hour days and day off) a weeks which is great. So I do Mon/Tue 8-5.30 with half hour lunh and Wed/Thu 8-2 with no lunch.

The long days are very long, it took me at least 2 months to get used to it, don't underestimate how tired you will be initially, but it's working well now.

FloweryTaleofNewYork Thu 19-Dec-13 10:30:25

"its the kind of job where you work through your lunch break and can work past your hours."

Ok then it's possible you already work 9 hour days then, 45 hours a week. If you currently work 45 hours over 5 days but are hoping to work 37.5 hours a week over 4 days but with no reduction in pay you may find your employer is pretty resistant to that.

This isn't about debating the rights or wrongs of working through lunch/working extra hours, this is about the reality of the situation. If your colleagues are working 9 hours a day 5 days a week and you are working 9 hours a day, or slightly over, but getting a whole day off each week but being paid the same, that's something you need to consider.

"Everyone else will feel it's hugely unfair, complain and resent you" isn't of course a reason your employer can give for refusing, but it will certainly have a bearing on how inclined they are to agree the request.

MunchkinJess Thu 19-Dec-13 11:10:13

I understand your point, however I am contracted to do 37.5 hours and out of everyone who does my position or similar at my company I am one of the only ones who stayed past 5:30.

I will defo take into account your views mind as it will help me form a good argument if I was to propose this as an idea.

as I said I am just trying to think of all options first before my family and I decide what is going to work for us when I return to work.

FloweryTaleofNewYork Thu 19-Dec-13 14:31:24

Yep, just something worth bearing in mind smile

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 20-Dec-13 02:32:52

An obvious point (which you may have considered already) but can you secure childcare to make this possible?

A compressed day might result in needing childcare for longer than a standard nursery (as an eg) is open etc. Especially if a long commute is involved. Hopefully you have a supportive DP who can do their bit.

MunchkinJess Fri 20-Dec-13 07:06:22

thank you it is a good point. my partner works shift work as he is a firefighter so we only require two whole days and two half days if they fall on a weekend then not needed. initially my mum will be helping us out for the first 6 months or more as I am not keen on our little one at so young ( she will be 6 months) to be with strangers... its mainly my fear more than someone not being fully capable.

my mum wants to help us till we find our feet with regards to juggling work and a baby.

tribpot Fri 20-Dec-13 07:24:04

I'd vote for compressed hours, provided you think you can avoid having to check emails and so on on your day off. I got into the habit of dropping ds off at school and 08:50 and then starting my journey to work. It was the wrong decision, although beneficial because it meant I had some social contact with other parents at the school gate - my commute was not on a quiet bus full of other commuters but students and teens, thus loud and stressful. I didn't get into work until nearly 10 some days - some of my colleagues had already been in for more than 2 hours. By the time you've settled in, booted up the machine, buggered about making a cuppa, the morning's half gone.

I would have much preferred to get started at 8 and steal a march on the day, but when ds was younger he really didn't want to go to the before school club (and in any case, as it opens at 7:30 I couldn't have got to work at 8 anyway).

I do think with the time zone thing this is a good deal for your employer, so don't feel like you're asking for a favour, so much as offering something mutually beneficial. Having your mum to help with the childcare will be a huge benefit in the early days whilst you're working out the best combination of options, but do try to use her sparingly as you will never find such flexible childcare again!

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 20-Dec-13 07:26:52

That sounds like it will work well then. Not having to rush back to the nursery everynight (to avoid the £2 a minute late charges!) will be helpful whilst settling in to new hours/way of working.

Fingers crossed your employer goes for it. Good luck.

MunchkinJess Fri 20-Dec-13 08:44:49

thanks everyone I really do feel that this may be the best option for all grin lets hope they agree wink

MunchkinJess Fri 20-Dec-13 10:10:00

just had another thought that I would like advice on.

if I did 4 days of compressed hours do you think its going to be a step too far to ask for the 1 day off as a different day every week ? for example as my fiancé works 2 days 2 nights and it changes every week but we know his rota a whole year in advance I was thinking on his 2nd night to have that day off. so if its a Wednesday this week it would be a Thursday next week and so on, or do you think a set one day off same day every week is going to go down better?

hope I made sense in my ramble above smile

tribpot Fri 20-Dec-13 11:37:38

Hmm, there are advantages and disadvantages for your employer to that approach. To some extent it depends on what work you do, whether you're managing staff and so on.

I think it's very unlikely they're going to commit to meshing your scheduled with your fiance's, but you could offer some flexibility about which day you take off - i.e. it's normally Monday but given every few weeks he will be able to do Monday you can switch days that week if there's another day that's more convenient? This is unlikely to save you money on childcare but it does make your offer to the company more flexible.

If your fiance does 2 days and 2 nights, presumably there will be a number of days he can do, assuming he works weekends as well?

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 20-Dec-13 13:44:17

I would ask, you won't know unless you do.

As tripot says depends on the business and your role.

I imagine the difficulty for them will be being fair to all employees. You in the position of knowing a year in advance, others might not be - where does the employer draw the line?

On a practical level (at work) I would have thought that the same day off would be easier for all.

If it were me I'd need to get into a pattern of how to make the 4 longer days work. Swopping the days off would throw me. I work 4 days (freelance but the issues are still the same) and the afternoon before I clock off is always hectic/busy.

There is also the issue of presenteesim - not that you should have to consider it - being off on different days might to some give the impression that you are in the office much less than actually are.

If you are in a job which involves meetings with others different days off could also causes issues. You might find yourself having to ask for a reschedule or missing out.

However I can see that a day of childcare (I am about to pay £60 a day for my baby at nursery shock) saving would make this option attractive to you.

Ask, they can say no, but they might say yes.

Good luck.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 20-Dec-13 13:46:17

Should add you would also need to find flex childcare. Around here (East London) there isn't such a thing unless you hire a nanny/au pair. All nurseries and childminders are fully booked so you have to stick with the same pattern.

MunchkinJess Sat 21-Dec-13 07:36:25

I am in east london too grin my mum will be doing childcare until our little one is 1 at least for now.

GirlWithTheDirtyShirt Sat 21-Dec-13 07:47:16

Just a word of caution. Our company will not let you do full time hours in four days. I think the maximum they allow is something like 92% hours in four days. It's something to do with the breaks legislation - they can't legally have you contracted to work over them.

xmastime2013 Sat 21-Dec-13 07:48:52

Munchkin I know you have said a couple of times that your mum will be doing at least 6 months of childcare but I agree with others it would be sensible to look at childcare options now as it is unlikely you will be allowed to change your working arrangement after just six months. The longest hours for nursery in my area are 7-6:30 but most are only 8-6 and you need to allow 5-10 mins at drop off and pick up for handover. Childminders in my area work shorter days than that. Good luck!

MunchkinJess Sat 21-Dec-13 10:49:24

ive checked on the government website and the law states from what I have read that you are entitled to a 20 minute uninterrupted break in a working day( I could be wrong) I was looking to ask for a half an hour lunch break..

of course if im wrong do know. the more informed I am the better wink

as for childcare my partner only wants family looking after our little one his mum is retiring who will also be taking over childcare. but a very good point and I will investigate what is in my area so I have all options available to me.

Charleymouse Sun 22-Dec-13 11:58:16

Some places have holidays based on days per week worked rather than hours per week. So if you do the same hours as someone doing Mon -Fri but you do Tue -Fri then in My place you would lose holiday days.

FlowerytaleofNewYork Sun 22-Dec-13 15:19:18

She wouldn't lose holiday Charleymouse. She'd get fewer days but would get paid more for each day and wouldn't need as many days. People who work Mon-Fri need 5 days to take a week off. People who work Tues-Fri only need 4. She'd get exactly the same amount of paid time off as she gets currently.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 27-Dec-13 23:18:50

Just bear in mind that if you are out of the house for 12 hours, you will not really see your baby awake at all that day (unless she is a very early riser!).

I work full time. approx 9-4.30, and an hour or two at home in the morning and evening with DD makes all the difference. If I was out of the house 7-7, I would not be able to get her up, give her breakfast, give her dinner, bath, bed … I would rather touch base with her twice a day than sacrifice it to have an extra day with her.

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