A Month of Working Compressed Hours

A Month of Working Compressed Hours

Compressed Hours – Take 1

Working compressed hours (full time hours over less days) is not new to me. Towards the end of my maternity leave, I asked to work my full time hours over four days instead of five, and chose to have Fridays off. Thankfully, my proposed new schedule was accepted.

Key facts

* Flexible working?: No, I had fixed start and finish times

* Length of working day: 8 hours 45 minutes, excluding a lunch break, instead of 7 hours

* Actual start and finish times: 8am to 5:15pm (with 30 minutes for lunch)

*Commuting time: 25 minutes door to desk

Playground fun on my first Friday
Playground fun on my first Friday

Working compressed hours with a fixed start time, and no flexibility meant I had to be plan ahead. My mornings were quite regimented as I didn’t want to be late to work. Thankfully, I didn’t have to factor in nursery runs so that was one less hassle.

Compressed hours 2.0

When I moved to my current job, I didn’t mention ‘flexible working’ during my interview nor did I make working compressed hours part of my contract. (The jury is still out on whether doing so would have been detrimental to me getting the job.)

I decided to wait until after I passed probation to see whether working compressed hours would be a possibility. I applied after 8 months with my manger’s support, and I was granted.

Key facts

* Flexible working?: Yes, this means I can work around the office ‘core hours’ to suit me

* Length of working day: 9 hours, excluding a lunch break, instead of 7 hours and 12 minutes

* Actual start and finish times: 8am to 5:30pm, with 30 minutes for lunch (this is the general time I’ve decided to do but I don’t stress myself if I get to work slightly later, and I’ve indulged in a few lie-ins on occasion)

* Commuting time: under 10 minutes door to desk (depending on the lift/elevator in my office building)

In Busaba, Westfield
In Busaba, Westfield

My prior experience of working compressed hours helped me get disciplined this time round. I know that selecting and ironing my clothes in advance will save me time in the mornings. Similarly, preparing my lunch and taking it to work makes having a 30 minute lunch-break more feasible.

Flexi-time has been the added bonus this time round and I’m definitely finding it beneficial. I never have to worry about being late to work.

Check out my guest post on Eat Love Live London (one of my favourite blogs), to see what I get up to on a typical day.

Four Fridays of Freedom

I love having my Fridays as ‘Mama and Nate Friday’. I made the decision to do an activity with The Boy every Friday (and not just stay in bed catching up on my shows). So here’s some of what I did on my Fridays off:

1st Friday: I ran errands in the morning with my boy then went to the playground.

2nd Friday: We had gone to my mum’s the night before so we spent the day there. I cooked and Nate played with grandma. (There’s a massive recreation ground nearby so he had a lot of fun there.)

3rd Friday: It was a slow start to the day but we went to the nearby children’s library to get some books out. My timing was off so he fell asleep while we were there.

4th Friday: It was an early start for us as we went to my mum’s to “babysit” a contractor (his words not mine), then we went to Westfield for a gander and lunch.

In conclusion (seeing as I feel like I’ve written a lengthy essay), working compressed hours involves long but manageable days. I look forward to my Fridays and that gets me through the long days, it’s very worth it.

I’d love to hear how about your working arrangements. If you have any questions on applying for flexible working, I’ll do my best to answer.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mama Nate


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About MamaNate

I'm a London based mother of two. I'm also a wife, daughter, sister and friend. This blog is about how I juggle my different roles.

One comment:

  1. Thanks for this post!
    Up until a few months ago I worked fulltime and never once thought I could request a compressed week maybe cos working overtime is a norm in my industry. I’ll defo consider it when I go back to work…

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