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32 hour 4 day workweek

Does anyone work in a firm with a 4 day workweek where 32 hours is considered "full-time?" My assumption is that this does not exist in the US, but I really want to be proven wrong. Slight variations to this are welcome. This is for research looking at alternative work models in architecture, so just looking for insight.

 
Feb 5, 20 5:44 pm

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whistler

My office has mandated a 4 day work week for the last 20 years. I personally don't follow the format as my clients expect me to be in the office all the time but I manage to cut out when I feel like it and when it suits my schedule.  Biggest issue has always been to train the clients  so that they know when not to expect that particular staff member to be available ( everyone takes different days and times off to suit their personal circumstances )


Feb 5, 20 7:44 pm  · 
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midlander

my former office went on a 32 hour 4 day week from roughly 2008-2010 during the recession for staff below principal level. salary was cut 20% but the affected employees were still full time for benefits etc.

Feb 5, 20 9:08 pm  · 
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Featured Comment
Archlandia
My office offers the option to work 32 hour weeks but salary is adjusted based on the hours worked (that is if you are on salary, otherwise you just clock your hours worked) Only a handful of people in my office have opted for this, but they seem happy with it. They are still considered full time employees as far as benefits go. A partner of my office works the 4 day work week as well but probably puts in 50 hours in those 4 days anyway. But the regular employees work 8 hour days consistently. I won’t do it because I enjoy the paychecks.
Feb 6, 20 12:47 am  · 
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Featured Comment
bowling_ball

I've worked this schedule outside of architecture at two different jobs, with mixed feelings. 


The idea of a four day work week makes me hesitate, as I need my production staff to be in the office Monday to Friday to respond to our clients, contractors, authorities, etc.


On the other hand, five days a week X 6.5 hours per day does sound reasonable. This is something we'll be discussing in the near future. To meet in the middle, I'm thinking 35 hours/week to start, and re-evaluate in 6 months or a year. I'd never consider a reduction in salary, so long as the work is getting done.


Thoughts?

Feb 6, 20 12:47 am  · 
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Very interesting! I also find that I do not have much of a difference in effective productivity with an extra hour and half. I could do the same work in 6.5 hours as I do in 8, but not necessarily more work by just adding on hours after a certain point, if that makes sense. I mean, I can, but it takes a lot more mental energy. More time doesn’t necessarily equal more work for me. Depends on the type of work though. 

My mental bandwidth gets drained. Of course there are times where that extra time is crucial, but in the day to day I’d feel more motivated/focused with this 6.5 model you’ve mentioned here. But I could also see myself doing 4 10s if the work was varied enough. I really like your thinking of it as an experiment that you can test and try out. Brilliant, and a fresh open mindedness. 

Feb 6, 20 3:20 pm  · 
1  · 
archanonymous

I worked at a place that did 4 x 10 hour days. Best of both worlds.

Feb 6, 20 9:39 am  · 
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Chad Miller

I have a question for those who have done the 32 x 4.  How is your billing handled.  I assume you only bill clients for the hours worked in a manor that works with the contract you have with them.  What about that other 8 hours of the week?  Are the employees just billing this out at general overhead?

Feb 6, 20 10:15 am  · 
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Not done the 4x32 but have done 4x10, and 4x9 and 4 hours on a Friday.  Even with studies showing that the 40 hour work week is not as productive as maybe 32, a lot of projects just require lots of man hours to get done sometimes, so 40+ hours is preferred.  I enjoy having a day to run errands and take extra time off, so a four day work week is preferred, but convincing principals the benefits and dealing with clients is the tough part.  

Feb 6, 20 12:43 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

It's also hard for those with young kids. The net hours might be the same, but I don't imagine many childcare centers stay open late enough to make this easy.

Feb 6, 20 5:35 pm  · 
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Featured Comment
whistler

We have typically done 4 - 10hr days.  Everyone is way more productive;

a) they are immersed in the task at hand for a longer period and get some bonus hrs either early in the morning or at the end of day when the phone and emails subside.

b) they get an extra day off to deal with their own life's circumstances... we live in a resort community and so that day translates to an extra day of outdoor adventures.

c) just knowing you get your friday off makes people put in a little extra effort so that if they have a deadline they get it done Thursday night so they don't have to come in on Friday for that hour or two.

d) client and builders respect us for working to a 4 -day work week.  Non one complains and I have never lost any work because of it.  Anybody phoning in a panic can get the info they need if needed but typically we just ask why it's a panic when they could have requested the info in a more timely manner. 

You do have to train your clients a bit, but if they know that from the outset it's all good. and because we are still doing a 40 hr work week there is no net loss of wages, or billable hours.  The added bonus is a reduction in travel time and costs for staff too.

Feb 6, 20 2:00 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

Please tell me your username is where you live? Gorgeous up there.

Feb 6, 20 3:45 pm  · 
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whistler

yup

Feb 6, 20 4:24 pm  · 
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tduds

Is your firm hiring disillusioned Americans?

Feb 6, 20 4:37 pm  · 
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whistler

HaHa, no but I do a lot of work for many disillusioned Americans. One client post 9-11 claimed we were the safest ( fun outdoor community ) in North America and besides who'd bother come look to find us.... Whistler's s hitty don't come!

Feb 6, 20 4:49 pm  · 
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Chad Miller

We do (4) nine's and a four.  No contractor or client has seemed to mind.

Feb 6, 20 2:22 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

We do that in the summer. Everybody likes it.

Feb 6, 20 5:32 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

Coincidentally, this just came across my feed: https://www.wsj.com/articles/t...

Feb 6, 20 7:53 pm  · 
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tintt

I typically work between 4 and 14 hour days. I have no idea if I work 40 hours a week or not and don't care to know. Work gets done, I feel rested and satisfied. 

Feb 6, 20 11:38 pm  · 
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I like this approach. Some days more time will need to be put in and others may not require a full 40 hours. I remember just sitting at my desk trying to create work for myself even though I had met my goals for the day because I had to fill up all of the time in the day.

Feb 7, 20 8:53 am  · 
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atelier nobody

This is what salaried work is supposed to look like, unlike the more prevalent treatment of salaried employees as nothing but free overtime.

Feb 7, 20 1:52 pm  · 
1  · 

So true.

Feb 7, 20 1:59 pm  · 
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Wood Guy

I worked at a residential design/build firm that did 4-10s; it took a little getting used to but I ended up enjoying 3-day weekends. Until I got promoted to management, which meant also working half-days on Fridays, and sometimes weekend work. But we were still expected to work 10s on the other days. For our carpenters and office workers the 4-day week was a major benefit. 

Now that I work for myself, I enjoy working half-days. Typically 8am-8pm 5-6 days a week, with breaks as needed to do other things, and a few hours a day the rest of the week. A 32-hour week would feel like a vacation, and it's my goal to get there. 

Feb 2, 21 10:46 am  · 
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square.

it's hard to comment on the small/solo practice, but i think most mid to large offices could absolutely, quite easily, implement a 32 hour work week. so much of the "work" that is done in architecture offices, outside of the necessary push during deadlines, amount to unnecessary labor, i.e. spinning of wheels on multiple versions of things, overproducing out of fear of a client or developers "needs" (how often do we find what we made for a meeting is ignored or forgotten?), or simple work for works sake.

this of course is not unique to architecture, and is wrapped up in our (america's) weirder obsession with work and meaning, but if we objectively looked at was necessary, i'm certain we would find that 40 hours is not required during the average week.

Feb 2, 21 10:49 am  · 
3  · 
randomised

most jobs advertised here are for 32/40hrs a week, guess they leave it open for the applicant...

Feb 2, 21 11:37 am  · 
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randomised

here=the Netherlands

Feb 2, 21 5:43 pm  · 
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justavisual

Issue with 4 is you end up doing the work of 5 for 20% less pay. You really have to stick to your hours and not do overtime constantly. I liked the friday off - but it only works successfully in offices with a certain culture. Ie the ones where you can turn your phone off without feeling guilty. Now that I work for myself I just work when and how much is needed - 4 to 14 hrs a day about sums it up (as above). But I feel better since Im not chained to my desk or the 9:00 start time. Anyway 32hr week is common in the Netherlands.

Feb 2, 21 12:18 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

"for 20% less pay." Not necessarily.

Feb 2, 21 12:49 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Like inmates discussing the least painful ways to die.

Feb 2, 21 1:04 pm  · 
2  · 
square.

dark.

true, but dark.

Feb 2, 21 2:10 pm  · 
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archi_dude

is there a way to perform a job search with this as a parameter? That would be awesome.

Feb 2, 21 2:33 pm  · 
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