Re: Anyone work 4-10 hour days?

Subject: Re: Anyone work 4-10 hour days?
From: Janet Valade <Janet_Valade_at_SYSTECH -at- SKYWALKER -dot- SYSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 13:19:20 PST

>I'd like to approach management with the idea of allowing us to work four
>10-hour days, if we choose to. I know that usually at the end of my day, at
>6 or 7 o'clock, I've caught my second wind and could keep going for a
>couple more hours, at least. I'd like to know any personal/anectodal
>experiences, and of any studies that anyone knows of that may have
>looked at this option.

I worked a 4/40 for several years. I totally loved it. At first, the days
seemed long. I had to bring extra food because the day was longer. And I got
tired. But in a very short time, it felt normal, just like 8 hour days. I
would be absorbed in a task, realize it was awfully quiet, check the time and
realize I should have left an hour ago. And the weekends seemed incredibly,
wonderfully long at 3 days. It was optional for us, but pretty much everyone
chose it except people who had a 2 hour commute.

Where we were, the managers were not allowed to work a 4/40. Our days were 2
hours longer than theirs. So, some of the managers didn't like it. The ones
who can't believe that people will acutally work when there is no one there to
crack the whip. Also, the managers had trouble with the fact that they
couldn't seem to remember who was supposed to be there when. It was difficult
to schedule meetings. Or they couldn't just run into your office to ask you
questions anytime they needed to know something because it might be your day
out. They had to think ahead a little. Also, even if they couldn't admit it,
the managers knew they were getting less time from you because you used to work
more than 8 hours a day anyway. My first reaction to the 4/40 idea was sort of-
-wow, you mean I only have to work *4* 10 hour days!

One way in which it does help managers is that they can totally expect you to
be there the entire 40 hours you are scheduled. Since you have a free weekday,
you really have no excuse to take work time to go to the dentist or doctor or
your kid's school or meet the plumber at your house, etc. Also, the extra time
before the normal workday begins and/or after it ends was really productive
without constant interruptions from the "world".

I am working normal weeks again and still haven't adjusted to the "short
weekends", although the days seem quite short.


Janet Valade
Technical Writer
Systech Corp., San Diego, CA
janetv -at- systech -dot- com

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