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If you could choose, would you rather work...

Kat Marketplace Partner May 09, 2019

Assuming you work 40 hours a week (including or excluding a 30-60 lunch break), would you prefer to work:

a) 'office hours' - 8 hours a day on weekdays starting somewhere between 7 and 10 am

b) Four 10s - 10 hours a day on 4 of the 5 weekdays with either Wednesdays off or a long weekend every week

c) 9 hours a day, Monday to Thursday with Fridays off every second week

d) 9 hours a day, 4 days a week with 1 half day each week

e) something else involving nighttime work

f) something else involving weekend work

g) another way of working ~40 hours a week


Which of these options are you or have you worked? What did you like and dislike?


Kat Marketplace Partner May 10, 2019

I work a) now but used to work b) when I had a baby at home. It was great to have a weekday I could schedule appointments on and run errands leaving the weekends for family activities.

 Almost all activities and groups run for babies and their parents are held on weekdays so this means I could experience some of these which I would have been excluded from if I worked all weekdays.

I find the idea of c) and d) compelling now that I have a role that requires me to be in the office every day.

That's a pretty interesting discussion and already looking forward for the answers from different jobs and continents.

In Germany I would say is most common (depends on the job) - I'm used to a but would love try something new. Working in a SME it's really difficult to establish the idea of new working hour models. I think b,c and d could work out. 
Would be great to try out b and to have one week Friday off and next week Monday off - a very long weekend :)

If I would be absolutly free to choose and as I have a lot do with people all around the world - I would prefer starting the early around 6-8 am working until 12 am - than having a nice day, meet friends and start work again between 7-8 pm. I feel most productive in the morning and late at night.... 

What would interest me - what's your opinion @Kat regarding working hours? I find it's really hard measuring work in hours.... it's a discussion I have with my boss all the time ;)

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Kat Marketplace Partner May 10, 2019

Hmmm - the split shift idea is interesting too, though it could be limited by any physical commuting required and the amount of real-time person contact in your role. I imagine some of the developers would love to have half a day of work where meetings and collaboration were possible and half a day for isolated work.

Measuring work in hours seems to be the default because it is something that can be easily measured and predicted. It is very obvious in roles where multiple people have the same job but very different output rates that it isn't an accurate reflection of work done.

What is the alternative? If you are building pre-designed widgets then you could get paid or work based on the number of outputs, ditto for sales. Many other roles are much harder to estimate and create a shared understanding of a) what should be done, b) how long it should take, and importantly, c) how to deal with variances if reality does not match the expectations.

I've had a manager say to be "I have no idea what you do here", yet he was happy with my work effort and output. A lot of what I do is not noticeable when it is being done - the pain is only felt when someone stops doing these things (like tracking due dates and following up on progress).

What are your thoughts on measuring work in hours? What are the pros and cons you and your boss have discussed?

As @Fabienne Gerhard has already said option is the most common. Personally though i would like to start at 6 and finish on 14:30-15. Then you have the whole day in front.

However the necessity of working with customers makes this difficult! Also the second option it's not that bad sometimes. It's great especially when you are planning vacations for example ;)

And i should not forget the possibility of working on Saturday mornings for some few extra hours. Some of our tasks required to work , off customer working hours

Like Fabienne Gerhard likes this

Totally true - @Christos Moysiadis 

I forgot the updating, testing and working on system hours that are better set on weekends :)

Kat Marketplace Partner May 10, 2019

Back in 2008, some companies in New Zealand talked to staff about b and c as a way of reducing costs without losing staff. Environmentally, four 10-hour days means less time commuting as staff are not moving in peak times and the office power bill would be a lot lower if lights and computer screens are only used 4 days a week instead of 5. 

Thomas Schlegel Community Leader May 10, 2019

I am in a quite comfortable situation, that we can work from 6 am to 8 pm whenever we want. 

So, if you are not a morning guy, you can start late, but also the other way round. And if you need some time during the day, no problem - split your working hours.

We can also work e.g. one day 6 hours and the next one 10 hours - but you have to be in the office at least 3 hours every day.

As I said, quite comfortable here.

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Hi, I don't very like working more than 8 hours a day so currently, I'm working typical a). But I would tend to option f), meaning I have half a day off each week and catching up working half of Saturday. Half a day for days from Monday to Friday should be enough for personal matters and it would eliminate the needs for taking a day off.

Like Kat likes this

With the way my brain is wired, I find it hard to do anything without having a plan, a set of steps to follow, or a schedule. So...I am very happy with my 7:30-4 shift and I try not to change it too much. I start to get antsy when someone schedules a meeting after 4pm.  

I also try to schedule all of my meetings between 10am and  3pm to accommodate people in other time zones, and I ask my project teams to be available during those times (unless there are members in Asia, of course.) Over the course of my career I've realized (the hard way) that performance on a distributed team will suffer if they cannot agree on a period where the entire team is online at the same time.

Like Kat likes this

I'm working typical a). But I think labor productivity has grown and work day should decrease. We set 8 hours day more than 100 years ago, we created robotics and computer but cannot decrease work day. I think we should spent more time to learn and less time to work. 

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I like option g - full flex hours. As long as you work your hours and get your work completed it would be great to not have a specified schedule. If you wanted to go paddle boarding for 2 hours in the afternoon, you would make up that time early morning, or on an evening or weekend. This wouldn't be conducive to all positions but it would be great for some jobs.


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