Compressed Work Week: Pros & Cons as a Flexible Work Arrangement

If you want to work four days a week instead of five, a compressed work week is one way to get it. It’s a popular choice; Fridays off is a common way they’re configured.

But is it a fit for you? Here’s a quick look at the personal (not employer) pros and cons.

If you discover it’s a no-go for you, follow the link to 5 Ways to Get Fridays Off (without slashing your salary).

Pros of a Compressed Work Week

  • Most people appreciate having a full day off during each workweek, while still preserving full-time income.
  • The commute to work may be outside the usual rush hour traffic times because of the extended work day, and thus less stressful.
  • You’ll cut your gasoline use and wear-and-tear on your car.

Challenges and Cons of the Compressed Work Week

  • An ongoing schedule of ten-hour or nine-hour days, while it may be the norm for some professionals already, can be physically and mentally draining.
  • Not only is the workweek squeezed into a shorter time frame, but all the after-work activities must also be wedged into the remaining hours of each work day.
  • Chronic fatigue caused by current work-family conflict time pressures might not be off-set by the regular day off.
  • Child or elder care coverage to match your compressed work schedule can also be a challenge.

If the pros outshine the downside, it’s time to move forward:

  1. Check if your boss will say “yes” to your request for a compressed workweek.
  2. Prepare a a professional, organized, convincing proposal for the arrangement.

If the cons outweigh the plus side, let me suggest a few other creative twists to the work week:

5 Ways to Have Fridays Off (Without Slashing Your Salary)

Work options come in a variety of flavors. Pick the Fridays Off arrangement that works for you.

Compressed Workweek Proposal“Many thanks for the research and structure you provide to create a winning proposal; my compressed workweek schedule has been approved. I was able to communicate my needs while providing my employer with a plan to get the work done. It’s a win-win.”  Diana Mezick, Administrative Assistant, Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, Bethesda, MD

…before I left on maternity leave, I requested a compressed workweek. I was told no and that it wouldn’t work. While on leave, I came across your proposal blueprint. I hesitated…[and] was somewhat skeptical. [Then], I decided it was worth the risk. I…emailed it to my boss yesterday morning. By 3pm, she called me to tell me I have her approval to work 4 days per week when I return from maternity leave. I want people to know that it is well worth the [price]. Thank you…Angie McDonald, Wichita, KS

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