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The 4 day work week in architecture

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OneLostArchitect

What does everyone think about the 4 day work week in architecture?

https://theconversation.com/the-ethics-of-the-4-day-work-week-its-not-just-about-the-hours-124418

 
Nov 4, 19 7:30 am
Non Sequitur

When I read about 4-day weeks, it seems most say they work 9-10 hours per day, mon through thur, then take a 3 day weekend.  I'm not in favour of this since that eliminates any useful time at home in the evenings for 4 days.  

This article suggest a straight 4day week for 32hr.  Who wants to take a 20% salary cut for that extra day off?


Nov 4, 19 8:13 am
Wood Guy

Other industries often get paid lunches. In 20 years of working in higher ed, public administration and marketing (yes, 3 different industries), my wife has always had paid lunch breaks.

tduds

Why is a 20% salary cut assumed?

Non Sequitur

Well, how else could you justify the change? You don't just get the same $ for less hours.

tintt

you could if you measured outcomes instead of hours

Non Sequitur

...also you could if you had clients and construction schedules that could absorb a 20% increase in delivery times. I just dont understand how people think things will get completed in less time (hence the 20% figure) if you work a 4day/32hr week vs a 5day/40hr especially if you're expecting the same compensation.

You don't just become 20% more efficient by having less required weekly hours.  

^ this. I would love to see an office let go of the hourly billing model and instead focus on completion of tasks and outcomes.

Note that "^ this" was referring to tintt's comment, not Non's. I do agree with Non's comment that 32 hrs does not equal 40 hrs ... which is why I think it would be interesting to see an office get away from an hourly mentality and instead focus on outcome. I'm assuming this is how tintt manages her contract work, which makes sense and is probably normal, but I've never heard of an entire office being managed this way.

tintt

Some of my work is hourly and some is not. I like to mix it up. I like that for results-oriented work I can take frequent breaks when I need to like when working on difficult and tedious stuff (cause sometimes an answer just pops into your head that can't come when you are staring at a screen) and I like that I can work on difficult stuff when I'm at my best (mornings) and do easier stuff when I'm feeling lazier. Some days I like the marathon pace and some days I like to run sprints. Cross-training. I get burned out when every day feels the same and I'm expected to perform continuously for a set part of the day. Plus then I can never watch any Dr Phil. Just kidding. 

midlander

i did this during the recession with a 20% salary cut while our office struggled to stay solvent. it was great. i spent the 5th day at home working on my own projects or painting / drawing art. luckily i was paid ok to start with, and had a cheap lifestyle.

if you could be ambitious and keep on track to climb the ladder while working 4 days a week, i'd sign right up. it's not all about the money though - the other aspects of signalling value to colleagues and clients unfortunately matter.

otoh i had a 4 day weekend planned this week. after 2 days at home with my dear family, i got a call from an acquaintance looking for help at a meeting with an old client - for a nice fee - and said hell yeah. a morning out of the house, lunch with an old client, and $800, sounds fun.

to some extent, this will always only be possible at the bottom. as you move up in responsibility and freedom, you actually want to do as much as you can. the line between work and social activity blurs a lot. i do think as a society we should push to make this an option for employees who desire it - or more broadly, allow for nonstandard work scheduling and time commitments. it's largely a management issue, though socializing many of the obligations placed on employers would help greatly.

but children should keep to a 5 day school week. maybe 5.5 even :P

Nov 4, 19 8:15 am
Non Sequitur

Very good points. One thing some might not realize is that someone needs to be available when the client calls. We have a handful of staff on modified schedules and it can be a pain when they are the expected contact for a project... gets even more frustrating when it's a repeat client looking to get new project started. Dito for construction admin. So those with direct client interactions and who control productivity can't really make a 4day week work.

joseffischer

Pay for my phone and I'll answer it, simple as that.

curtkram

instead of paying for your phone you get reimbursed for your phone, so you don't need to manage both a person and professional one. also, that way you get the phone and provider you want and put whatever aps you want on it. that reimbursement is included in the salary you already receive.

monosierra

I think it is more difficult for professional service providers than product providers, especially one that is as race-to-the-bottom as commercial design. The work done and deadlines are contingent on the client, who are in turn abiding by deadlines set by the authorities and the market, as well other coordinated parties. Unless there is broad consensus among all these players, an architectural service provider that sticks to its own work schedule could be out-flanked by a firm that offers to work more for less. An unfortunate problem endemic to most rungs of the business. There's a story in the ODA monograph about a ten day design process for the 420 Kent project in Williamsburg - the firm could have said no to Eliot Spitzer's development firm and surrendered the opportunity to design the project. The developer in turn appeared to be hobnobbed by government deadlines and market conditions - thus the short notice/

Nov 4, 19 8:38 am
midlander

good point - the most severe scheduling pressures always come from deadlines by the client due to meeting unreasonable obligations for financing or government submissions / revisions. those are things over which the clients have no control. it's going to require a more systematic review of the conditions within each industry if society as a whole wants to change this norm. it's not primarily architect-bosses driving the problem.

monosierra

I'd love to see a comparison with other industries that require extensive coordination for large projects. The aerospace industry also seems to have big coordination challenges driven by the inherent complexities of precision manufacturing, worldwide logistics, competitive market, threat of litigation, and big factors beyond the company's control (Global economics and government regulations/policies). Would love to see how those guys handle their workload. I find comparisons with other professions less relevant - especially those which don't require as much external coordination as the construction industry or those which have the power to dictate timelines and schedules.

tintt

werk 

Related image

Nov 4, 19 8:45 am
Non Sequitur

That's a sexy monitor. I like that the blouse matches the vent grilles.

archi_dude

I do 11's every day. Gym, surf, socialize as well. So eliminating useful evening time wouldn't be a problem on a 4x10 schedule. The main problem is coworkers with Non's attitude. This is how we do it any deviation wont work! From personal experience with flexible work schedules, both a pay reduction to reduce hours at one firm and a work at home once a week at another, you really need to constantly remind coworkers with that attitude that it's a policy that's open to everyone or that you are in fact making less money because of it. It really is awesome, burnout is no where to be found, you are definitely happier and way more efficient.

Nov 4, 19 9:03 am
Non Sequitur

What's my attitude exactly here? I think yours is far shittier than mine: foregoing evenings and / or working 11hr days is better than a normal 5day work-week. 

archi_dude

I work CM now. I'd like to implement a flexible schedule for my team if I ever make PM.

Non Sequitur

Flexible that covers most of the typical office work hours works. Gets harder if everyone is away at once tho.

sameolddoctor

Non, I think archi_dude doesnt have kids, and will never do with his/her 11 hour days...

Wood Guy

We used to work 4-10's at the design/build firm I worked for. I often ended up coming in for half a day on Fridays or over the weekend but it was still a good system overall. Working 7-5:30 with 1/2 hour for lunch isn't that bad once you get used to it.

For the last few years, self-employed, I often work at least 10-12 hour days 5-6 days/week and half-days the remaining days. 4-10's sounds like a walk in the park in comparison. 

Nov 4, 19 9:21 am
Chad Miller

Our office does 4 1/2 day work weeks.  7am to 5pm Mon-Thurs and 7am-11am on Friday.  Seems to work great for us.  Our clients and consultants don't have an issue with it and we're actually more productive.  This is probably because it's easy to put in a few more hours on a Friday . . . got to love unpaid overtime.  

Nov 4, 19 9:38 am

France has a 35 hour work week. Denmark 37, with a goal of lowering it to 30.

Nov 4, 19 10:17 am
Chad Miller

To be fair that's not for architects.

bowling_ball

My office is 37.5 hours. In Canada. It can be done.

Non Sequitur

37.5 here too for like 75% of the staff. I'm most PA and CM, so my hours are closer to 42-45.

Happy Anarchy

France is not a real country, never won a war.

senjohnblutarsky

I work four nines and a four.  It's a pretty sweet schedule.  The four hour day is typically spent just doing paperwork, management things, or word processing (studies/reports). I don't work overtime unless it's absolutely necessary.  If I didn't have a commute of over an hour each way, it'd be just about perfect.  

Could I cut the four hour day?  Probably.  But it would crowd the rest of my schedule; I enjoy having a day dedicated to certain types of tasks. I could probably just move it to half of another day of the week. 

The biggest problem I see is client and contractor expectations.  Contractors are becoming easier because most of them I deal with are working 4 ten hour days anyway.  I rarely hear from most of them on Fridays. Owners expect instant gratification at all times.  We've moved on from phone calls, letters, and hard copies of everything being mailed around.  Everyone wants something and wants it now, via text or email. Who is going to keep them happy on your day off?  You are. That's who. 

Nov 4, 19 10:26 am
Chad Miller

I never give clients a cellphone number.

With that commute you’re working four 11’s and 6. That’s a 50 hr week.

senjohnblutarsky

I don't commute on the half day, typically. But yes, I'm gone from home a lot, and have a 1 year old. Like I said, if I didn't have the commute, it's a pretty sweet schedule.

senjohn, how do you actually make sure your dedicated day stays dedicated? I swear since I became a PM the ONLY way I get any dedicated time for anything is to do it after 6pm or on the weekend when on one else is in the office bugging me for attention. Do you set up an out of office reply or pull an invisibility cloak around your desk or something?!

senjohnblutarsky

I work remotely 98% of the time on that day. I could probably manage it pretty well in our office. We have a lot of people who work four 10 hour days, and several part time folks. So, they aren't there on Fridays. I work in a corner in the basement, so that helps too. The lack of people and remoteness of my office makes Friday's fairly slow, if I'm in the office.

b3tadine[sutures]
https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-4-day-work-week-boosts-productivity-2019-11
Nov 4, 19 11:49 am
Happy Anarchy

but imagine making the 4 x 2 in 7...

whistler

the office I run has had a standard 4 days @ 10 hrs/day for 18 years.  Works well, with each staffer member choosing to which day they don't want to come in, some like the long weekend while others choose a day mid week to resolve domestic child care issues etc.  I don't mind what ever they chose it's just more a matter of educating clients and contractors to be aware of the timing and scheduling issues.  Not difficult to manage, maintain or emphasize to our clients. Everyone is respectful and supportive when they see it doesn't impact the project and staff are happier and more self empowered.

Nov 4, 19 2:26 pm
sameolddoctor

Yup! This comment wins.

tduds

My ideal week would be Four 9-hour days. There's no way I get that much more done in 40 hours than 36. Overtime always happens near deadlines, but 4 9's would be a great baseline.

Nov 4, 19 2:33 pm
Wood Guy

That sounds pretty good. My goal is to get to 30 hrs, with at least 15 billable. I have a long way to go...

senjohnblutarsky

If I were opening a firm, it'd be four 9's starting out. Probably wouldn't have enough work to fill out 40 hour weeks for all employees. And on the weeks that you do, you'd have a cushion before overtime kicked in.

tintt

I work 1-2 twelve to fifteen hour days. Then 1-2 six to eight hour days. Then 1-2 two to four hour days. With breaks.

Nov 4, 19 5:02 pm
mightyaa

My favorite is a firm I know does set office hours 9'ish-3, 4 days a week; a required 20 hour minimum to be available to co-workers and clients.  They expect 40’ish hours (based on the assignments and tasks given), but leave it up to the individual for that extra time to get the assignment done.  So, night owls and early birds do well.  Personally, I think its brilliant.  Does a fine job giving employees a chance to balance their life/work without trying to dictate their personal schedule to just weekends and evenings.  btw; it's also perfectly acceptable to 'do not disturb' when outside those hours so you can focus on your task without interuption.  Their client is just sort of are informed when it's easiest to reach you. 

Nov 4, 19 6:10 pm
Non Sequitur

Very interesting.

atelier nobody

I worked at a firm like that - everyone was expected to be there 10-3 M-F (except scheduled meetings and lunch, of course) and the rest of your 40 hours was for you to fill in. I have always suffered from no consistent sleep pattern, so there'd be days I was in at 6 and out at 3, days I was in at 10 and out at 7, and days I was only there 10-3 and made it up by coming in on the weekend. The amusing thing was, there was one principal who was convinced I was the most dedicated worker there, because some days he'd see me already there when he came in and other days he'd see me still working when he left - he never figured out that it was rarely both on the same day and I really was working right around 40...

archeyarch

any way to negotiate the 32 hrs with the firm.? 

Nov 4, 19 11:33 pm

Some people in our office do 32 hour weeks and I admit I'm envious. And I'm 100% certain I'd be more productive in four 8-hour days than in my current five-10 hours days. I'm so fucking burnt out.


Nov 4, 19 11:37 pm
OneLostArchitect

Me too

Non Sequitur

I’m a fan of the 7:30am to 5:30pm then 9pm to 3am when I need to turn up the heat. I definitely prefer that over working 8am to 8pm steady.

Koww

lots of ppl gonna be doing 0 hours when robots take your job and your wife

Nov 5, 19 12:34 am
bowling_ball

Interesting and topical:


https://mspoweruser.com/micros...


Microsoft Japan did a trial this summer and found several benefits to a 4-day work week.

Nov 5, 19 1:05 am
Jaetten

I do 5x 0830 to 1730, with approx 1.5hr of commuting. My total working week including the driving is between 55 and 60hrs. 24x7 exhausted. Ouf of the house on average for 11hrs à day 5 days à week. No time for family, always burnt out at weekends. I'm paid 40hrs and I was at 80% billable hrs, not I'm at 70%. Its looking at a screen that wears me out. 


Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but I'd rather do 4x12 and get 3 off, or lose the commute! 

Nov 5, 19 7:57 am
afrdzak

I would love for society to go get away from the militaristic, regimented system we acclimate to at a young age. It's inefficient and has soured our psyche.

Nov 5, 19 10:19 am
archi_dude

I think the only way to make this happen is for some protections for white collar workers to finally be implemented. At least get rid of the BS salary = unlimited dedication / time. I know, I know you can quit find a new job but I really don't see much of a change until this happens. I'm on the CM side now and I see a lot of source for crazy deadlines is the mentality of needing it immediately by the clients and investors. Both architects and contractors give in so they can keep the workflow coming in. This then rolls down on workers. The investors are fine, I see a building that's sat vacant for years all of sudden "needing" to be built out ASAP because the finance side finally greenlighted its buildout. Cue crazy impossible deadline to start generating revenue and returns asap. If there were some laws establishing a maximum overtime or even mandatory overtime I think we'd see some lengthening of these schedules again.  And the investors would still just be doing fine.

Nov 5, 19 11:14 am
archi_dude

Mandatory overtime pay

Non Sequitur

We pay OT above 37.5hr per week for production staff (non inner-circle management folks). I've just made the leap into this inner circle which means I've replaced my OT compensation with a share of office profit. Since OT compensation comes out first (profit is distributed annually), there is an incentive for management to reduce overhead and OT costs. There is always going to be a better office. No excuse for those who become complacent with a bad place and expect everything to change to suit them.

jla-x

seems like a no brainer.  4 x 10hr a week is way more productive and healthy than 5x8hr.  



Nov 5, 19 11:15 am
jla-x

I’m in the midst of hiring a few workers and expanding from a one man show to a small company...I’m doing a 4 day a week work schedule. I’m also doing a 1 hour lunch family style with home cooking provided at least 2 days a week. Our current system is unhealthy and depressing. Plan on doing my small part to change that...

Non Sequitur

I strongly disagree. I want to be home every weeknight before 6pm (assuming 10hr day is 8am to 7pm + 1hr lunch).

jla-x

The hour lunch would be included.

jla-x

And leading at 5 sucks. Leaving later let’s you miss the bulk of traffic

Non Sequitur

Traffic does not really impact me since I dont drive and 90% of the downtown workforce are federal employees... so they all leave at 3pm anyways.

edit, I did not see your above potluck comment before making my first reply.  How's your cooking?


RickB-Astoria

Where do they get off with the idea that they can leave at 3pm? Slackers.... lol. Ok, if they start work at like 6am then I guess its ok.

jla-x

I cook every day non. I’m good at cooking any Italian food or Mexican. Even make my own bread and pizza. My best is a seafood pasta with a sauce I make from roasted tomatoes and herbs...people have said it’s the best pasta dish they've ever had :) Was considering dumping design and going into culinary, but too much work and hours in that biz.

Non Sequitur

Cushy gov public service gigs are 35hr/week, maybe. many are 8am-3pm give or take an hour or so. Most are replaceable/forgettable roles so very few take their job seriously compared to the private sector. They get paid more and do very little work (and their union and annual strikes are a huge burden on everyone), but it's dreadful work.

jla-x

So instead I’ll just cook for my peps

Non Sequitur

I should not have asked during lunch time. Now I want seafood pasta.

RickB-Astoria

N.S., I agree.

jla-x

:)

Chad Miller

Could I have burger please?

mightyaa

My wife is a Fed. Two days a week in the office for a 6 hour phone shift. Otherwise, it is teleworking and just doing the case files by the deadlines or training. That equates to about 20 hours for her which she schedules around the kids. But, she makes about 60% of what she did in the private sector that forced 60 hour work weeks and had massive turnover and layoffs.

tduds

"Was considering dumping design and going into culinary, but too much work and hours in that biz." 

Same. I bartended/served for a while during the recession. If you think the architecture industry has shitty hours, hoo boy. 

I enjoy cooking as a hobby too much to ruin it by turning it into a job. 

 Maybe we should have a "What's cookin?" thread?

RickB-Astoria

Sounds like a good idea.

code

(4x) 12 hr days that generate redlines that must be picked up friday, an other 12 hour day + Sunday = 72 hours - 

Nov 5, 19 11:54 am
RickB-Astoria

Talk about no life for yourself.

Chad Miller

F#*k those hours code. No matter how great the project or much you'd pay me I would not destroy my life by working those hours.

Non Sequitur

This is not a good brag. I've only passed the 70hr mark 3 times in 10+ years.

joseffischer

When I just started I happened on a team that had an owner who changed the entire project and didn't want the deadline to move and was ready to open their wallet for it. The firm expanded the team from 4 to 8, and asked the interns who would be willing to work 5x16s + 12 on sat and 8 on sunday... 100 hours. I signed on and it lasted 5 weeks. We got a special bonus at the end (which as I recall basically covered what I would have been paid if it was all overtime pay) and they provided lunch and dinner. Dinners were actually a big affair where each team member got to pick the place and we all took an hour off to eat and chat.

I could never do this again, and I appreciate that the firm asked for volunteers, but at the time I didn't mind it.

atelier nobody

I could do that 1 week in a crunch (and have), but 2 weeks in a row, or more than once or twice a year, and I'd be out the door. I know there are firms that expect this regularly (see the Patrik Schumacher discussion below), but I believe such firms should be shunned and publicly shamed just as much as the firms with the unpaid internships.

Happy Anarchy

code, you looking for job?

Chad Miller

I personally find that anything over 9 hours a day leaves me with little energy to do other things after work. 

Nov 5, 19 1:13 pm
atelier nobody
tduds

You can tell Patrik is wrong here because he's lying about his argument.

Not forcing your employees to work long hours is not the same as forcing your employees to not work long hours. 

atelier nobody

It is the nature of creative work, or maybe of creative workers, that sometimes one gets hyperfocused and can work many, many hours. The problem with Patrik, and many like him in the profession, is that they believe it's reasonable to expect his to be everyone's default work mode, all the time, and that people who can't sustain it day in and day out are therefore unfit to work in the profession.

tduds

Exactly. It's about the choice, not a requirement one way or the other.

afrdzak

Yep. I personally, don't care if the person next to be feels the need to put it more or less hours - which is where, in the profession, hourly+OT as opposed to salary makes sense to me. Also, in a business standpoint, it makes sense to only allow OT when the project needs it. However, if everyone is on salary...things get a little more convoluted and allows for foul play. I've also found that bonuses can be used as the carrot at the end of the stick.

Chad Miller

I agree. I worked for a firm that the only way you got a year end bonus was for working OT. Over five years the bonus only once equaled the base hourly rate for the OT I worked. Most years it was 50%.

In Liberland the masters relax by the pool, waited on hand and foot by naked slaves while the minions toil in dungeons below.

tduds

Frankly, our profession is task-based, not hour based. If I can complete my expected amount of work in 4 fewer hours than a colleague, I should be able to work 4 fewer hours for similar pay.

tduds

A place I used to work had a great policy of setting milestone deadlines for Wednesdays. Not only did it build in a couple of buffer days in case we ran behind, but we were done for the week when we hit the milestone. Sometimes it was late Friday, but a lot of times we earned a 3.5-4 day weekend by staying on target.

afrdzak

tduds: Hmm... yes you are correct in that we're tasked-based, but I don't think they're mutually exclusive. From a management POV, if the employees were salaried and there's enough work you're going to work on the next task. You're not going home early just because you finished your homework early.

Also, I think that office environment you mentioned is extremely rare.

tduds

It is very rare, but I wish it wasn't. My overall thought is that - if my reward for efficiency is just more work, there's no incentive for me to be efficient. I get profit share now so the incentive model is a bit different, but I think more firms should prioritize balance. Otherwise you'll end up with half your office coasting & the other half burned out. That's not how you get quality.

afrdzak

Exactly, no incentive, no balance of work load, etc. and that's how most firms I've personally experienced and vicariously experienced, operate. In finance there's what's called the utilization rate - the % of time a person does doing billable work. I have never seen an office actually calculate or have constant awareness of this, but I think going hourly would enforce it.

Almost all firms I've worked at calculated and could pull up any employee's utilization rate in a minute or two. This is usually built into whatever they are using for timesheets. In some offices it mattered more than others. It has nothing to do with being hourly vs. salary.

afrdzak

EA: You're right, it has nothing to do with hourly vs.salary. I don't even know why I brought it up.

The biggest issue I have with the whole utilization rate metric is that I have yet to see an office account for worker efficiency with this. If, for example, it takes tduds 36 hours what it takes me to do in 40, but we are both being measured for our billable time, I look like the better worker with 100% utilization compared to tduds' 90%. 

One office I worked in seemed to calculate utilization on a 40-hour work week regardless of how many hours you actually worked. So if you were really inefficient and worked overtime you could have over 100% utilization. The really annoying part about that office is that they would usually bring up your utilization rate when you wanted a raise, or they were handing out bonuses, which meant that it penalized those who were more efficient. I brought this up in one of my salary negotiations, and you could tell the principal had never considered this. His only response was that I should be taking on other tasks to remain above the target utilization rate ... I passive aggressively implied that he/the firm should win more work.

midlander

this sounds like incompetent management. utilization rate isn't a measurement of performance; it's a measurement of availability for billable tasks. in general it should be lower for more senior level positions. senior management was often less than 50% - they spent most of their time on office management and building client relationships, not billable work. deviations from target utilization rates are symptoms of poor work planning by the pm, or an inadequate amount of incoming work for the staff, or possibly an employee given the wrong role for their skills. it's not relevant to consider individual employees utilization rate unless they are fully in charge of their own task assignments and scheduling, which again would be poor management.

Non Sequitur

Tduds, are you suggesting that for example, if one person was asked to complete a certain set of drawings and coordination tasks and they burn through them by wednesday, they can just fuck-off (politely) and take a 5 day weekend? I don't think that works. Control of deliverables and reasonable scheduling is better and having most of your staff on hand for most of the workweek helps when the eventual problems occur. Perhaps I just don't agree with the piecing apart of a project and giving staff their own sandbox to play in. There is one deadline and one team. More efficient team members get rewarded with better compensation and better project/career opportunities while the slackers stay at the bottom. (and unfortunately become a loud parasitic voice behind the otherwise good intentions of the pro-union folks). My 2 canadian cent's worth. Time for a beer.

RickB-Astoria

I think I saw something on this utilization rate in the Architect Handbook of Professional Practice. Anyway, page 19: ( https://www.ncarb.org/sites/default/files/ARE5-Handbook.pdf - I know the link is to the ARE5 handbook not the AHPP). It's about the effective use of labor. In terms of human resource management to any project, you have to assign people efficiently. The principal may sometimes have the highest qualification to a particular project but can not be devoted to the project as much so you try to arrange staff the best you can on both metric of competency and ability to utilize to the project. It's not suppose to be a sole metric. It is suppose to be used in a matrix of qualification and ability to utilize. For cost effectiveness, quality, and human resource effectiveness to deliver on the project. As I personally see it, it is one of the tools of human resource management in the overall tool set of project and organizational management.

RickB-Astoria

midlander's response is pretty good on it. I don't think the point is that human resource management to any project should be solely based on utilization rate. There is the importance of qualification.

midlander

to clarify, utilization rate is a project management / work plan metric. it helps you know how much time you can 'assign' to certain individuals. it's not a performance measurement. if someone is exceeding their target utilization, their workload is being mismanaged, or they are doing the wrong job for their position. if a managing principal is spending 38 hours a week drawing details, their utilization will be high, but they are hopelessly failing at their role as a manager.

RickB-Astoria

Thanks for clarifying it.

midlander

agree w non here. architecture is very much a team project. everyone has strengths and a focus within their team, but it's a dysfunctional team that gives people such limited roles that they can finish on wednesday and leave for the week while others stay in the office plugging away. this can really only work in a small office where incoming work is limited, and so nothing else is ready to do once one project milestone is done. it's also not necessarily a sign of personal efficiency. some clients are easy, some projects run smoothly. some don't - and that's not usually the fault of the individual staff.

RickB-Astoria

Tduds, I think you are currently working at a medium size firm in Portland, Oregon (50-100 employed). I'm confident that in that firm that they do follow largely practices that N.S. has stated and what midlander said. I don't know but I would imagine that if I was working at that firm that they would try to keep me busy working as much as possible. If I am exceeding expectations and completed the work asked of me to do on projects I am assigned to, that they may direct me to assist other project teams.

I completely agree with you on the incompetent management comment midlander. One of the many reasons I don't work for them anymore. Cheers!

tduds

Non - To clarify, it was team based. & only for milestones. So, for example, we targeted to submit for permit on a Wednesday. If we busted our asses and got the permit set in on Wednesday (or Thursday, or Friday morning), the team was good for the week.

RickB-Astoria

Ok, I can see the incentive to get the work done promptly and even ahead of schedule. Does this incentive sometime calls for working extra long hours a day such as 10 to 12 or 13 hour days?

tintt

Those Monday deadlines though. Who does that?

code

Sooo Patrik, didn't Zaha die of a heart attack, she made the ultimate sacrifice - chain smoking, "we work all the time" Zaha

Nov 5, 19 5:46 pm
afrdzak

I don't know why we're still making Patrik relevant.

Happy Anarchy

some people are their work and you can't really compare a business to a life.

Chad Miller

Yes you can.

Happy Anarchy

how? one person "works" 120 hours a week and the other has some plan with spreadsheets.

Happy Anarchy

for the record I am a business owner now so the fact I work 6am to midnight all week days and sometimes more (22 hours not rare) and then work at least 8 hours over weekend if I don't decide to get extremely drunk to self-medicate all the anxiety and nerves from just wondering where the next one is coming from or what psycho client is going to let loose at 5am in the morning about their time crunch panic attack....

so yes 80+ hours a week, 52 weeks a year, I work during vacation, and I'm barely noticable in the real world, but I have a firm! (41 years old, major metropolitan area, and I made more than my parents since my first architecture job...) so what, work smart not hard.

I don't like smart, its lazy (kidding).

with that said, I pay by the hour, expect 9-6 x 5 days if you do more I pay time and half.  Compared to other small firms I pay at the top end and if you worked overtime you could make 6 digits working for me just with 3 years experience, because I always thought that was what I worth.  Quit being salary after barely 3 years in this business.

if you're name isn't on the door I don't think you can be productive beyond 40-45 hours without major incentives or something like a 3 day weekend, 4 day work week.

and yes I plan on dieing, working, as  an architect.

Happy Anarchy! (imagine if I was a degenerate, what kind of dedication man)


Nov 5, 19 8:59 pm
Non Sequitur

What are you drinking tonight?

Happy Anarchy

only did 12 hour today, stopped at 630 (i work while in transit) between 630 and 830 had drinks and dinner with relative I hadn't seen in 20 years. in those 2 hours had 12 calls, 12 texts divided between (3) contractors, (1) realtor, (1) management. (2) contractors were in panic mode - one because of the realtor and other because his subs don't listen to him and he can't read drawings (good combo)....only responded to (1) management company as they are about 20% of our revenue. 2 hours I didn't pay attention after typical work hours....so I will awake at 5am tomorrow to get a leg up on it.......drank a Duvel, Hofbrau, and Bronx Summer Ale.

Non Sequitur

If it keeps you knee deep in duvels, it ain’t a bad way to go.

Chad Miller

Happy - what types of projects are you doing that your clients and contractors are that needy?

Happy Anarchy

contractors - either we went from schematics to construction overnight and we're filing in the blanks as we go or the contractor is very green and I'm esentially a mentor/coach

realtors - either selling or buying you need either space studies in 5 minutes or close out legal issues before closing

clients - the "needy" ones are one who have never taken on a project before and of course think their project is the only one the office is working on and have neurotic anxiety issues or have some political scheme that needs constant narration in the architect's ear...they have money too, so we work for them

b3tadine[sutures]

ROWE is the only path forward.

Nov 6, 19 6:16 am
maureenowaters

I'm really glad to read this article. Thanks for sharing.

Nov 11, 19 6:18 am

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