Four Day Work Week – Week One

Our son will be starting school in September allowing my wife to return to work; she wants to I’m not forcing her – honest. She has always wanted to train to be a nursery nurse, and through a chance conversation at our son’s pre-school she has secured a position starting immediately.

To give her the greatest possible flexibility I said that I would request to adopt a flexible working pattern which I am entitled to under UK law. Sadly my manager initially refused my request, but following a successful appeal I started my flexible working last week.

I now work “five days in four”; working all of my contracted hours in four days as opposed to five. I  work from 8.15 to 18.00 Monday to Thursday and don’t work on Fridays. This has allowed my wife to take the great opportunity presented to her and to start training right away.

Having talked about other companies that have adopted a similar pattern wholesale I thought it might be interesting for others to document my experiences working a four day week in a five day week company.

Last week was my first four day week and it looks like this work pattern will work out well for me and my family and have no negative impact for my employers.

Not being a morning person I will admit to being concerned about actually making it in on time and being effective. Perhaps the biggest and most pleasant surprise of week one was early rising. I’ve found that I’ve had no problem actually getting up and that I feel more awake and alert through the day as a result. I wonder if it’s anything to do with seeing more daylight.

Having said that I also think that my increased alertness may be due to a greater focus and awareness of time I now have. I want this arrangement to be a success for me, for my family, for my employer and also for others that may want to work this way in the future. To this end I have found I have a much greater sense of engagement and focus.

So all very good so far.

Week two may be more of a test as I have a day in London on Thursday giving me have just three days in the office, but such days are a fact of business life so I don’t expect big problems.