Working 3 days per week - which days are best for work & childcare?(20 Posts)
I hope this post fits into the new category! I'll be going back to work (middle management role) 3 days per week when my DD is 1 year old. DH will work 4 days per week, so we'll need childcare 2 days a week.... Which days do you / would you choose to work? is it better for my DD to have 2 consecutive days at nursery or to spread them out? Thank you
I work Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. This gives me a better spread of days across the week - otherwise I would leave on Wednesday evening and not be back til the following Monday which just seems too large a gap to keep up.
Most people who do a three or four day week seem to have Fridays off so I kept that - it's easier to meet up with baby-group people once they have gone back to work.
And it's good to have either a Monday or Friday off for weekend travel as you won't want to be doing late evening rush hour drives or flights with your little one if you are going away. It's often easier to get extra childcare for those days if you need it - Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday are often booked solid.
You might be have to be lead by when the nursery can offer you. I am in London and there are waiting lists etc. Fridays and Mondays are less popular, so they might want you to take them.
I think Tues - Thurs would be good. I did Mon - Wed as that is what the nursery would allow. I personally wanted 3 consecutive days in the office to plough through the work. I know do 4 days and work for myself.
I think splitting the 2 non-work days over the weekend is a good idea.
You also need to look at when key meetings are likely to take place etc. You don't want regular pressure to attend meetings on your day off. If you are intending to be flexible and attend things, it could be worth asking the nursery what days you are likely to be able to secure extra sessions. As the poster above says Fri's tend to less busy.
When do other pt staff work? If there are a few of you off on a Friday, then hopefully all staff meetings won't be set up for then.
I would probably worry the least about yr DC. Hopefully she'll get used to whatever pattern you establish. Sounds like she'll have a good mix of you, your DP and nursery.
Mon Tues Thurs worked well for me from a work point of view. I didn't feel like i missed too much as caught up with things on Thursday and Fridays were a shorter day and quieter in my office.
My dc would have found 3 days in a row hard work - after 2 they were ready for a day at home.
I do Tuesday - Thursday. I fund having the 3 middle days in work helps me keep up.
Bear in mind that if you work Mondays and your employer has bank holidays then you will have less pro-rata annual leave to take when you choose (since you have to take the bank hols).
I found working on Fridays hard as full-timers seem to slack off on Fridays, few meetings then (so missed more on other days) and it was hard to get stuff done!
I personally preferred not being out for two consecutive working days, both for breaks from the commute and getting on with things at home and work (deadlines etc).
I think it partly depends on your job, as for some not being in the office for two consecutive days can be an issue. I did tue, wed, fri at my last place which worked well. Was in and got stuck in, could get work progressed while not working then back to clear desk before the next week. I found often people were busy clearing their emails etc on a Monday so noone minded me not being around.
Not working a Monday gave me more AL as not done over with bank holiday allowance. However working Friday's did mean I missed out on a lot of groups and meet ups that all seemed to happen on a Friday.
I work mon/tues/fri and that works for me because DS does mon&tues at nursery and our parents alternate the Fridays between them.
I like working two on, two off, one day in the office then the weekend. It feels like I'm not away from the office too much but also not away from my son too much either.
Tues, Wed, Thurs - that way you will not have to take a/l to cover school holidays/in service days (when you get to that point) which you might not get at work and which tend to be over long weekends
I work M W Th and also find that not leaving everything for nearly a week at work, plus having Fridays off, is helpful. I like being in work for two consecutive days too.
I also find that the DCs benefit from a day at home to nap properly, though they are not too bad at the CM on a Monday.
Hardly anyone works part time at my office (and if they do they often job share or work mornings only so someone is in their role every day). But a lot of people work at home and that's usually on a Friday. So trying to find people in the office would have been a thankless task on a Friday.
I will probably add a half day when DS goes to school leaving me with two days I can do the school pick up, but a bit of extra time in the office. I worked M-Th when we only had DS for a while.
If you really need to add an extra day's childcare Friday is usually quite quiet at nurseries too.
I used to do Tues-Thurs but I found that I spent all day Monday responding to emails as everyone seemed to come back after the weekend and need responses immediately. And I found it intense to work 3 consecutive days. Much prefer now when I do Mon, Weds and Thurs.
When I came back from maternity leave I did Mon, Wed and Fri for a bit. I wouldn't do it again as it meant that the week was too broken up.
If I were to go part time for three days I would have Wednesday and Thursday off - Friday would be a good chance to catch up with emails/organise the work for Monday and Tuesday.
I have done T,W,Th, which was rubbish, felt like a full week; M,T,Th which was ok, but annoying to be dipping in and out of work and meant weds wasn't a proper day off as I spent it thinking about work; I now do M,T,W which is definitely the best combination. Finishing on a Wednesday is ace.
I used to work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and this arrangement worked well for me. I liked getting it over and done with at the start of the week and then having home time for the remainder of the week. I suppose you get used to any working pattern over time.
We have the same set up
or we will have when I go back to work next week
Monday - both work, DS at nursery
Tuesday - I'm off, DS with me
Wednesday- DP off with DS, I work
Thursday - both work, DS at nursery
Friday - I'm off, DS with me
There is a reason the hardest days to get childcare are tues-thurs. Those are the most favoured days to work if you are on a 3 day week (purely from a home perspective - meetings, other part time staff, work patterns etc may also factor).
Find out how your annual leave and bank holiday allowance will work part time. Some contracts give bank holidays if your working day falls on a bank holiday. Others say a full time contract gives 12 (from memory) days for bank holidays plus 25 days annual leave, adds these and divides to give you your share ( I work 2 days a week so get 2/5 of 37).
So not working Mondays mean I generally have a more generous annual leave entitlement.
Not working Friday is great for weekends away, friends coming to stay etc.
BUT a lot depends on the days you can get care (some were booked over 18 months in advance).
Regarding days spent in childcare, some children seem to prefer sporadic (so Mon, Wed, Fri) others don't seem to mind.
I did Mon Tues & Thurs also. More determined by work needs for the Monday but splitting the week by having Wed off and back in work on Thur felt a better work/home balance than 3 days in a row at work
Nurseries where we live charge you for bank holidays, so if you both work on Mondays then you may end up paying for childcare several days a year that you aren't using it.
I prefer not to have two consecutive days off work as I think you are more likely to miss out on decisions - lots of things can wait until the next day but not two days.
I did Fridays because my line manager wanted me to, but working Fridays can be frustrating - loads of people go early on Friday, so if I'm working on something that needs input from colleagues, it's hard to progress it on Fridays. But on the flip side, if I've got something that I can get on with by myself, Friday afternoons are usually quiet and free from distractions.
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