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)

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

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