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> How does a 9-to-5
> workday translate into a 40 hour work week if employees eat lunch?
Let's start with the idea that a 40-hour work week is a goal, not a hard and
fast rule. Some weeks you might make it on the nose, some weeks you might be
short a bit, some weeks (more often than not) you're over.
Then factor in things like going out to lunch with people you work with. Sure
it's casual, but inevitably you wind up talking about things related to work.
In the grand scheme of things, that should count toward hours worked.
Add in the fact that a lot of us bring work home with us, whether that's
paperwork or reading or research on the web or learning a new tool. Those
hours should count, somehow.
Finally, what a lot of companies have come to realize is that some employees
need to be available during "core hours" for meetings with other employees, but
that they can do their actual work in other places as well as on-site. Usually
core hours get defined as something like 10-3. So your work day might start at
6 a.m. with a couple hours of work at home, a two-hour break while you deal
with kids and house stuff, a 5 hour segment in the middle of the day, perhaps
with lunch at your desk or maybe a working lunch with a cohort, the late
afternoon and early evening off to do family stuff and dinner, and then another
hour or three at night when the kids are in bed (or at least are quiet).
Fewer and fewer companies these days are treating 'knowledge workers' to the
old-time pleasures of a time clock and punching in and out. Sounds like flex
time is new concept to you.