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What's the point of a 4 day week...

(27 Posts)
MrsMelonBall Wed 15-May-19 14:54:37

If you end up doing 40+ hours anyway, and losing out on a day's pay?
I'm just wondering has anyone managed to do a 4 day week in a office environment successfully?
I've only been back to work 3 weeks now and work in a large firm where they were more than happy to allow me to use parental leave to reduce to 4 days (and get paid for 4), but I'm expected to do the exact same job in these reduced hours.
I get up at 6am, leave at 7am, drop baby to creche, make the commute to work and get there for 9am. It's so busy I don't even have time for a cup of tea, let alone lunch... leave at 5pm, make the commute back, collect baby at 6.30pm (11 hours later sad). Put her to bed at 7pm, and log back onto my laptop until 10pm.
It's all worth it to have one day midweek with my little one, but I'm wondering are my company taking the piss????

MyDcAreMarvel Wed 15-May-19 14:56:55

No you are working 30 hours not 40?

updownleftrightstart Wed 15-May-19 15:04:02

We're you expected to do an extra 3 hours worth every evening when you were working 5 days? Or is it literally you have the exact same amount of work to do? If it's the latter can't you ask for condensed hours instead?

MrsMelonBall Wed 15-May-19 15:05:32

I'm working more than 40 hours ... 9am-5pm with no lunchbreak (8hrs) and 7pm-10pm (3hrs) x 4 days

Ivestoppedreadingthenews Wed 15-May-19 15:07:13

You’re doing condensed hours. They are taking the mick.

MrsMelonBall Wed 15-May-19 15:07:49

updownleftright I have literally the same amount of work to do. There were times when I was full time when I might need to stay back until 6.30 here and there but not very often.
Unfortunately they don't offer condensed hours. That would be ideal, as I'd be getting paid for those, but it's not available

ILoveMaxiBondi Wed 15-May-19 15:10:00

Madness OP. You will burn out. You need to speak to your manager and point out that you’re doing far more work than you’re being paid for. Don’t just accept this. Tbh, in your position I would be looking for something else. That commute is horrible.

MrsHormonal2019 Wed 15-May-19 15:10:39

As long as you being paid for it I don't see the issue tbh. I know a lot of people who work 4 longs days so they have 3 off.

Sexnotgender Wed 15-May-19 15:13:47

As long as you being paid for it I don't see the issue tbh.

But she’s not getting paid for it.

updownleftrightstart Wed 15-May-19 15:15:12

That's shit. Cos as a pp said you are working condensed hours now - just not getting paid fairly for it.
In those circumstances I'd be working full time while I look for another job. Maybe you could find something closer as well as a 1.5hr commute is a bit rubbish

peachgreen Wed 15-May-19 15:18:29

Happens to a lot of part time returners and it's not acceptable. Speak up.

everycowandagain Wed 15-May-19 15:32:07

I had exactly the same issue. I switched to full time with 1 day per week from home. I think you rarely get 80% workload despite taking 80% salary, particularly in pressurised office jobs.

vitalite Wed 15-May-19 15:58:42

In my experience, the only person who benefits from an employee "reducing their hours" (unless they all the way down to job share) is the employer. Most people who drop just a few hours or a day are still expected to do the same amount of work, but on less time and for less money.

JuliaAndJulia Wed 15-May-19 17:37:14

I did this after my first and felt like I was doing full time work in 4 days & losing a day's pay too. I went full time & it was sooo much more relaxing plus more money.

Second time around I've only accepted 3 days. I think 3 days gives a clear & loud 'part time' signal that 4 days does not!!

Either ask for full pay (40 hours in 4 days)
Or 3 day week (24 hours in 3 days)

JuliaAndJulia Wed 15-May-19 17:38:32

Your commute is quite bad too. I couldn't do it with a baby (or even older kids!)

Butterymuffin Wed 15-May-19 17:44:57

So hang on, your contract hasn't actually changed to 4 days, it's that they're allowing you to take one day of parental leave each week? Because in that case I sort of see how it's happened. You're being expected to take leave on the proviso you get a normal week's work done. If you change your contract, you can say you're only able to get 0.8 of the workload done in future. How long is this arrangement set to run for?

Lazypuppy Thu 16-May-19 08:03:00

You have to stop logging on in the evening.

You have to start as you mean to go on,take a lunch break, only work your hours.

Its your choice to do the extra. If you're manager keeps giving you more work, tell her no you don't have the capacity

Eminybob Thu 16-May-19 08:11:50

You should be paid overtime or TOIL for when you are logged on at home.

I work 3 days a week which most of the time works out well as my job involves scheduled appointments with clients, so due to office hours I can only see 3/5ths of the amount of clients a full timer can, and therefore only have 3/5ths of the accompanying admin.
However, my job also involves a fair amount of CPD/training/meetings which is the same for all my colleagues regardless of hours, so if I’m unable to fit this in during office hours then I sometimes have to work over my contracted hours, however I always have the option to claim o/t or TOIL. Although I don’t always if it’s only the odd hour here or there as it works both ways and my employer is quite flexible with my hours if need be.

Callistone Thu 16-May-19 08:15:41

Is the issue that you're only doing a 4 day week for a while, using parental leave? Or has your contract actually changed to a 4 day week?

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Thu 16-May-19 08:22:53

I think your employer legally has to consider a flexible working request, but I may be wrong. So could you formally request condensed hours? They can say no but they have to consider it and tell you why.
I have just condensed my hours and so far it's working well for me.

MrsMelonBall Thu 16-May-19 08:26:41

Hi, thanks everyone! Lots of really good suggestions there. I'm on my commute at the moment- yes it's a rubbish commute but where I live, all the jobs are city centre and none of the houses are affordable (but that's an issue for another day!). At least it's on public transport, so not as stressful as driving.
Yes it's parental leave, so no official change to my contract, so you're right everycowandagain, and vitalite it's 80% of the salary, but very difficult to do just 80% of the work in a pressurised office environment. The problem is there's no one to hand the work to- I'm dealing with a huge volume of queries all day, writing reports to deadlines etc, so there's no clear way of how to take on less of these.
Lazypuppy I know, you're dead right... that was my full intention on day 1, until I ended up in meetings all day for the first week, right through lunch... but I know I have to either:
1) Look around for another job that is actually 4 days
2) Just stop logging on at night & start taking lunch. I'll have a lot of very pissed off people but maybe I should stop caring so much or I'll give myself an ulcer
Thanks again everyone for the advice
JuliaandJulia, the 3 day week idea is a good idea to set a clear boundary, but it's not available as it would mean hiring another staff member for the other 2 days. Eminybob we don't have TOIL I'm afraid

SoHotADragonRetired Thu 16-May-19 08:26:59

I do 4 days and I don't work outside my hours. A good employer shouldn't expect you to - but if you aren't getting the support you have to be tough and set the boundaries. Don't log on at home, tell your boss you can only manage 80% of your current workload. Push back on expectations. Or else demand full time pay on the basis that you're still doing a FT job and hours.

RicStar Thu 16-May-19 08:29:27

I think this is very common with 4 day weeks. Expectations are not adjusted and management forget you are getting 4 days pay now. I think you have to push back on whatever you are doing in the evening.

You also have to consider if you would be better off working full time / looking for another role or just accepting 4 slightly (but hopefully less than now) stressful days for one day when you are completely unavailable. I.e. what you think the best realistic outcome looks like impacts on your choices now.

You could also ask about compressed hours - if you have not already made a formal flexible working request.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Thu 16-May-19 08:32:10

Also OP, parental leave is supposed to be taken in week blocks to a maximum of 4 weeks per year. I think your employer can allow you to take more but this will eat into your overall 18 week allowance.

Tingface Thu 16-May-19 08:33:15

Unfortunately I think boundaries often still only get set when you set them. It shouldn’t be like that, but...

Maybe start by making one change: either not logging on in the evenings or by taking your lunch. See how that feels.

It’s really crap of them though.

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