Author Topic: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?  (Read 2071 times)

onemorebike

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Background: I love my job. I get to do great stuff. That said, I have young kids (5 and 8) and I am hyper-aware of the clock ticking away on life. It would definitely affect my retirement date but I'm seriously considering moving to a 32 hour work week. We can easily handle the decrease in pay (with an affected retirement date), and I'd love the extra day in a weekend to spend more time with my kids in the summer (my wife has summers off), and get other things done or just enjoy the day in the Spring/Fall/Winter. I talked with my boss about it and she seems amenable but needs to confer with HR. (she even mentioned a daylight savings time rotation, going back to 40 hours when winter hits MN would be good for the bottom line)

I'm hoping those of you that made the leap might chime in with pros and cons, anecdotes, or sage advice about how to do it.

Thank you in advance,

onemorebike

crispy

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2018, 06:19:17 PM »
Would it affect your health insurance? If not, I would probably jump on it.

gerardc

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2018, 06:33:34 PM »
I've done it. I recently started showing up to work for 6 hours a day (30 hours/week) instead of 8. So far, nobody complaining. Still making $350k+/year. Highly recommend.

Laura33

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2018, 06:53:59 PM »
I was at 80% when the kids were little, and it was great - thereís always pressure to do more as a lawyer, but I was able to leave at 4 with no guilt.

I am actually very likely to go back to this in the fall - it is now DDís last year of HS, and flying time has come crashing down on me, and I have decided that it is more valuable to have the freedom to go on college visits or just share downtime with her than to make the extra money.  Of course, havenít talked to DH yet.  😉

And yeah, it is hard to walk away from the money; I like watching the accounts grow faster, you know?  But you can always make more money; you canít get time back.
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nessness

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2018, 07:33:58 PM »
I did this. It's fantastic. I work 8 hours M-Th. I have two kids, ages 1 and 3, and I still send them to daycare on Fridays, and spend that time cleaning, running errands, catching up on laundry, etc. I try to schedule doctor/dentist/vet appointments on Fridays too as much as possible, so that I don't have to take time off work for them. So I don't end up spending much MORE time with the kids, but I feel like it's better time, because (a) I'm less stressed and (b) we can do fun stuff on the weekends instead of chores.

Malkynn

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2018, 04:45:09 AM »
I do this, I work three 10-11 hr days plus a half day here and there (long days are the norm in my industry), and I love having time off during the week, especially Wednesday, which means I never work more than two days in a row.

Having time off during the week just also makes scheduling soooo much easier, and guarantees me time off by myself weekly, which Iíve found I really benefit from.

I took a massive pay cut to do this, but I really donít mind because it allows me to enjoy my work, which I couldnít before. Iím no longer obsessing about when I can retire. I donít really care anymore because I can just keep working the way I want to.
 

LovinPSDs

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2018, 04:46:06 AM »
While not exactly the same, I have a 4-10 rotating shift, changed from a 9-80 and I can tell you every day at home is worth the move.  My kids are 1 and 3 and I'm so thankful I realized this before it was too late. 

I've seem to have best results by trying to fit the most amount of work time into the least amount of days. Half the time I would end up staying a bit late anyway so now I'm getting credit for it.  Started with 5-8s, current job was a 9-80 (every other Friday off) and now down to 4-10s which has been the best to far. I'm even working a rotating 4-10 so Mon-Thur and then Tues-Friday giving us 4 days off every other weekend.

If you were worried about the money or your boss was worried about the hours pitch a 4-9s or 10s.  If I'm remembering correctly, you still fall under full time employee (benefits) @ 32 hrs right? That would be the make worry.

LovinPSDs

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2018, 04:49:14 AM »
One other piece of advice... 10 hr days starts to become a pretty long day, especially if you have a decent drive... Hopefully your more MMM than I and live close to work.  If your not use to a bit less sleep or getting up a bit earlier give it a shot for a week or two and see how you like it.

onemorebike

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2018, 05:00:04 AM »
Great input so far!

My benefits would stay intact but I would accrue vacation at a lower rate (but that doesn't matter as much if every weekend is a three day weekend!).

I talked with my wife about it last night and she is on board for the daylight savings time version of this that allows me to work it during the warm and wonderful months. Now I have to wait on HR.

I live about a 8 mile bike ride from work that I do most days, oddly one if the downsides I keep thinking of is one less bike commute each week. :)

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des999

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2018, 05:59:45 AM »
I'm planning to do 4 days in the near future.  How did you ask for it?  I work for MegaCorp, not sure how they'll take it as I don't know anyone else doing it.

I'm thinking taking Friday off, seems like an easier sell to my mgr, as Fridays are typically a slow day in our shop.  I currently work from home two days a week, so that makes the week pretty easy, but 4 days just sounds great.  Although my pension, pay, and vacation would be cut, I can live with those things.  I want to keep at least one of my wfh days.

I'm interested to hear what HR says.  Good luck.

mm1970

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2018, 08:31:48 AM »
It's the best thing since sliced bread.

For me, I did it twice.  Once when kid #1 was 1.5 to 3.  Once when kid #2 was 2 months to 1 year.

I chose 30 - 32 hours because I still had insurance.

Also, I just worked shorter days, not 4 days a week.  I had to pay for full time child care, but I had a lot of flexibility if I needed to take a kid to the dentist and work fewer hours one day and more the next.

I cooked more, slept more, exercised more, and went to the park with the kids more.

onemorebike

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2018, 08:41:59 AM »
I've got a pretty good working relationship with my boss and now that I've been here a few years the quality of my work is established, and she knows I'm invested in the final outcomes and work hard to achieve them. That said, it was pretty easy - I started by asking if we had any others she supervised that were working fewer than 40 hours, then I talked about how much balance/family/living a fulfilling life were important to me and that I saw working fewer hours as an opportunity to be fulfilled both personally and at work - particularly in the summer time when my wife and kids are off from school. She had some really good suggestions for how we might implement. For context, I work for the government.
I'm planning to do 4 days in the near future.  How did you ask for it?  I work for MegaCorp, not sure how they'll take it as I don't know anyone else doing it.

I'm thinking taking Friday off, seems like an easier sell to my mgr, as Fridays are typically a slow day in our shop.  I currently work from home two days a week, so that makes the week pretty easy, but 4 days just sounds great.  Although my pension, pay, and vacation would be cut, I can live with those things.  I want to keep at least one of my wfh days.

I'm interested to hear what HR says.  Good luck.

civil4life

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2018, 09:46:32 AM »
I worked 4-10s.  I have done Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays off at various times.

My preference is actually in that order.

It is great having Monday off.  It makes Sunday a bit more relaxing.  No mentally preparing for the work week.  Plus Fridays are usually a bit more relaxed at work so it is nice missing the stressful start of the work week day.

Wednesday was good too because of the never working more than 2 days in a row.
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Trifele

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2018, 11:06:57 AM »
I did it for about 5 years when our kids were little, and it was fantastic.  I worked 4 days a week, with Wednesdays off. I loved having that at-home day in the middle of the week. 

I really like your idea of adjusting hours based on the time of year.  I have frequently thought I would gladly work longer hours in the dark and cold of winter, in order to have that time off during summer.   

neil

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2018, 11:14:23 AM »
My SO is doing it, not by choice.

She still has to work 5d/week and she is not good at optimizing her time, so it isn't really like she freed up 8h/wk for something else.  I am the same way.  I would only do it if it came with a reduction in work days.  She still retains full benefits.

I am salaried, and don't trust that 40->32 comes with a comparable reduction in work.  (As it is, 40 is not 40...)

I certainly don't discourage trying it, but these are the two pitfalls I see in our particular situation.

des999

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2018, 11:35:28 AM »
I've got a pretty good working relationship with my boss and now that I've been here a few years the quality of my work is established, and she knows I'm invested in the final outcomes and work hard to achieve them. That said, it was pretty easy - I started by asking if we had any others she supervised that were working fewer than 40 hours, then I talked about how much balance/family/living a fulfilling life were important to me and that I saw working fewer hours as an opportunity to be fulfilled both personally and at work - particularly in the summer time when my wife and kids are off from school. She had some really good suggestions for how we might implement. For context, I work for the government.
I'm planning to do 4 days in the near future.  How did you ask for it?  I work for MegaCorp, not sure how they'll take it as I don't know anyone else doing it.

I'm thinking taking Friday off, seems like an easier sell to my mgr, as Fridays are typically a slow day in our shop.  I currently work from home two days a week, so that makes the week pretty easy, but 4 days just sounds great.  Although my pension, pay, and vacation would be cut, I can live with those things.  I want to keep at least one of my wfh days.

I'm interested to hear what HR says.  Good luck.

thanks, good info.  I like the idea of trying it just in the summer months at first, maybe a trial period.  I would much prefer Monday as someone mentioned, but I think Friday would be much easier to convince there won't be much drop off in productivity. 

omachi

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2018, 12:19:47 PM »
I went to 80% time, same benefits situation - keep insurance, prorated vacation and salary. Haven't worked a Friday in over a year. Don't honestly miss the money. It's a reduction but not 20%, because taxes come out of that lost income at your marginal rate. So it's a pretty effective way to buy time, really. And while it pushes out FIRE on the calendar, the number of days actually worked in that span decreases. Thanks compounding.

If you're doing it just to have time for other things and not because you're dissatisfied, stressed, or burned out from work, just go for it, don't look back, you'll love it as long as you currently like weekends. If you are one of the above (like I was when I made the switch - highly stressed, likely burned out), I recommend it as well, but know it isn't a cure all. I found that it helps immensely on days off, there's enough time to fully disengage and actually get out of work mode and it gets easier to do so more quickly as time goes on. I'm less stressed on average, but work isn't magically more enjoyable just because there's less of it.

Mpenny1001

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2018, 12:37:58 PM »
I made this change a few years ago and love it!  I work 5 days a week, from about 7 am to 2 pm (4 days in the office, 1 from home).  My commute is nice because I'm ahead of most of the traffic.  I have time to run a quick errand if needed on the way home and still arrive about the same time the 13 year old is getting home from school (although she's perfectly capable of being home alone).  I then have time to do yoga, make lunches for the next day, and make a nice meal for dinner (which are things I enjoy).  This schedule works well now since our daughter is at the age where she needs to be places but can't get herself there and has random activities after school that mean she can't take the bus.  At this point, I appreciate the couple of extra hours each day more than I would appreciate one day off each week, but I envision this may change as our daughter gets older and life changes.

mm1970

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2018, 01:22:24 PM »
I made this change a few years ago and love it!  I work 5 days a week, from about 7 am to 2 pm (4 days in the office, 1 from home).  My commute is nice because I'm ahead of most of the traffic.  I have time to run a quick errand if needed on the way home and still arrive about the same time the 13 year old is getting home from school (although she's perfectly capable of being home alone).  I then have time to do yoga, make lunches for the next day, and make a nice meal for dinner (which are things I enjoy).  This schedule works well now since our daughter is at the age where she needs to be places but can't get herself there and has random activities after school that mean she can't take the bus.  At this point, I appreciate the couple of extra hours each day more than I would appreciate one day off each week, but I envision this may change as our daughter gets older and life changes.

yes.  During my first bout of it, I got a new boss who "didn't believe in part time" and told me I had to go back to 40 hours.  So I actually quit and found a new job with part time hours. One of my coworkers (her daughter was grown by then) said "It's only 10 hours a week!"  To which I said "it's TWO HOURS PER DAY".  Where is that going to come from?

FlorenG

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2018, 02:09:54 PM »
Funny, I am considering the same thing: exchanging a salary reduction for a 5 to 4 days/week of work.

I'm working on how to present it to my boss and make sure that they don't see it as 'I'm just not interested in working hard or the company'.

Has anyone who successfully negotiated this have any good tips about how to bring it up?

Curmudgeon

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2018, 02:33:24 PM »
I did it, took a 20% pay cut to go to a 4-day work week.  It was great! I took every Friday off and thus had (at least) a 3-day weekend every week.  Had more time for myself, and more time for my family.  No more rushing to get out of work on Friday afternoon to get going on a trip.  You do have to consider the impact on your career, if you're only contributing 80% then you probably won't move forward as fast.  I was close to retiring anyway, so wasn't trying to shoot up the ranks anymore.

One caveat, you have to have the type of job -and/or be the type of person - that can say 'no' to working on Friday.  I knew another person who tried to do what I did, but it didn't work at all:  people wouldn't respect her day off, would want her to do 'just this one thing' or call in 'just for one meeting', and pretty soon it wasnt really a day off, just a 'work, but not maybe as hard' day.   

gerardc

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2018, 02:52:15 PM »
I'm thinking taking Friday off, seems like an easier sell to my mgr, as Fridays are typically a slow day in our shop.  I currently work from home two days a week, so that makes the week pretty easy, but 4 days just sounds great.  Although my pension, pay, and vacation would be cut, I can live with those things.  I want to keep at least one of my wfh days.

This just doesn't seem worth it. You're taking a big pay/benefits/vacation cut, and you're only trading 1 WFH day for 1 Friday off (which is a slow day anyway, so "W"FH should not be too difficult).

lhamo

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2018, 03:12:14 PM »
I did it at my employer's suggestion after #2 was born, going from FT (which was probably about 50 hrs/week actually worked) to a nominal 30 hours.  It was the first in a series of changes that eventually turned what had been a "dream job" into a nightmare for me.  Boss was a psycho who wanted the same output in less hours, and then hired someone less experienced in over my head/demoted me/tried to cut my pay when I eventually said I was ready to go back to full time. 

If you work for a company where the management is humane/transparent, it probably isn't as risky.  I was in a pretty dysfunctional place and ended up burned pretty badly. 
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Syonyk

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2018, 03:23:38 PM »
My benefits would stay intact but I would accrue vacation at a lower rate (but that doesn't matter as much if every weekend is a three day weekend!).

Are you getting less than proportionally less vacation days?  If you're working 80% time and getting 80% the vacation, it works out to the same, because you only need 32h of vacation to cover a week, not 40h.

I went to 80% time, same benefits situation - keep insurance, prorated vacation and salary. Haven't worked a Friday in over a year. Don't honestly miss the money. It's a reduction but not 20%, because taxes come out of that lost income at your marginal rate. So it's a pretty effective way to buy time, really. And while it pushes out FIRE on the calendar, the number of days actually worked in that span decreases. Thanks compounding.

It also gives more time for doing things around the home/property, instead of having to hire them out.

Has anyone who successfully negotiated this have any good tips about how to bring it up?

If your job is widget making, good luck.  If you're doing more of a thinking type job, bring up that you often solve problems in your head on the weekends. :)
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Trifele

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2018, 03:54:47 AM »

Has anyone who successfully negotiated this have any good tips about how to bring it up?

I was pregnant when I did it, so my reason was obvious -- I would like to spend that time with my newborn.  "I love working here and definitely don't want to leave, but I need to be a parent too."  My boss was a kind family man, and he got it.  For people at other stages of life, your reason could be older kid/family responsibilities.  I think any 'important' reason could be your opening point, although health reasons could be tricky . . . It could be perceived as not being able to handle the job any more. 

***Another thing that helped me sell it was that I worked out which day of the week I would take off with the company.  I didn't just tell them which day I wanted -- I asked them what they thought too.  The company's big concern was that client communication would suffer.  A long weekend would not have worked from their perspective, since then three days might go by without a response from me. So we chose Wednesday for my day off -- midweek, and communication would not be delayed by more than a day. (If it were just up to me, I would have preferred a Friday or Monday off, but Wednesdays with my kiddos turned out to be great.  That midweek mental break refreshed me -- it was like having a mini weekend. And work/daycare was broken up into two mini two-day weeks, which was nice.)

As others have said, when part time it is absolutely critical to draw and enforce those lines.  "This is my day off.  I won't be checking email, and do not call me unless it is an emergency."  This worked fine, probably in part because it was Wednesday -- people knew I would be back in the office the very next morning.  It's a rare emergency (in my work) that can't wait til the next morning.   

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2018, 11:05:56 AM »
I went to 80% time, same benefits situation - keep insurance, prorated vacation and salary. Haven't worked a Friday in over a year. Don't honestly miss the money. It's a reduction but not 20%, because taxes come out of that lost income at your marginal rate. So it's a pretty effective way to buy time, really. And while it pushes out FIRE on the calendar, the number of days actually worked in that span decreases. Thanks compounding.
+1 My wife went to 60% and lost about 25% of her take home. At first you would think a person needs to work 40% longer when they cut hours by 40%, in reality it worked out to be a very small increase to the timeline.

However, she was also told that she had to work full time again after almost a year of the new schedule. In reply she decided to retire, its really hard to go back to full time. Her main motive is more time with our little kids, you can't buy that with money later on.

JoJo

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2018, 12:22:43 PM »
I'm at 65% and decided I'd retire if they make me go back to full time.

I do my part time a bit different - I take it in chunks, so I work 5 day weeks for a couple months, then take off a few weeks.

des999

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2018, 01:01:11 PM »
I'm thinking taking Friday off, seems like an easier sell to my mgr, as Fridays are typically a slow day in our shop.  I currently work from home two days a week, so that makes the week pretty easy, but 4 days just sounds great.  Although my pension, pay, and vacation would be cut, I can live with those things.  I want to keep at least one of my wfh days.

This just doesn't seem worth it. You're taking a big pay/benefits/vacation cut, and you're only trading 1 WFH day for 1 Friday off (which is a slow day anyway, so "W"FH should not be too difficult).

fair point, and something I've thought about.  I've yet to talk to my mgr about pay/benefits,vaca, so that could still be negotiable, but my assumption was they'd all be cut (not benefits, but vaca and pay).

Still, wfh even if not busy, I have to be online, I can't just take a whole day to go where I want etc..  I'm willing to sacrifice some pay for a true day off.  But, def a valid point to consider.

des999

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2018, 01:02:36 PM »
I'm at 65% and decided I'd retire if they make me go back to full time.

I do my part time a bit different - I take it in chunks, so I work 5 day weeks for a couple months, then take off a few weeks.

I like this option a lot, do you mind telling us what field you are in, and/or how you and your employer came up with that schedule.  I'm guessing that one would be more job specific.

onemorebike

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2018, 07:36:23 PM »
Heard back from HR, and they are fine with it if my supervisor is, which is fantastic! Apparently I sign a form requesting the reduction for a period of time or indefinitely and there is a note that says should I wish to be reinstated to 40, I can be. I'm suggesting to my boss that we set that to indefinite and revisit from time to time. I'm so fucking excited!

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LovinPSDs

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2018, 05:04:02 AM »
Congrats!!!  While maybe not FIRE, time at home with the kids is irreplaceable and something you'll never regret doing, even if it means 1 more year of work. 

 Hopefully my company wises up on these "mandatory overtime" requirements here soon so I can enjoy the 4 day work week as well.

FireLane

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2018, 07:34:35 PM »
I'm doing this! Mrs. FL and I are both going down to 4 days a week starting in July. I'm really excited for it.

We're both keeping our benefits, get proportional salary reductions (but we were making way more money than we needed to live on), and vacation reductions (but I'll gladly trade a couple days of vacation for 52 extra days off a year). It may delay our FIRE date, but probably by a few months at most, and I'm betting our lives will become much easier and less stressful in the meantime.

In our case, we did it because our daycare lady is retiring and closing her business. We were planning to ask to go part-time anyway, maybe in a year or two, but that was a convenient excuse. We both explained that we were losing our child care and that one of us would have to quit otherwise. Since we both have reputations as good, reliable employees and our companies didn't want to lose us, they made a deal. My job already had a flex-work policy, Mrs. FL's didn't but they made one up just for her. It pays to ask for what you want!

Tuskalusa

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2018, 07:43:44 PM »
I went to 30 hours when my son was small. I had a job share for 30 hours a week over 3 days. It was awesome to have 2 days off, but became grueling trying to fit a boatload of work into 3 days. I eventually went back to full time and the work was actually easier because I could spread it out over more days.

Now Iím at a different company at 25 hours a week and itís beautiful. I took a huge pay cut, but the time and sanity is completely worth it.

JoJo

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2018, 10:43:22 AM »
I'm at 65% and decided I'd retire if they make me go back to full time.

I do my part time a bit different - I take it in chunks, so I work 5 day weeks for a couple months, then take off a few weeks.

I like this option a lot, do you mind telling us what field you are in, and/or how you and your employer came up with that schedule.  I'm guessing that one would be more job specific.

I work on special projects at an insurance company, but my special projects are taking a back seat to 2 huge projects so that opened the door to part time.

I've been doing this for a little over a year but just got a new boss and a hint from HR I need to sell the idea to her.  It has been challenging that they can't put me on those larger projects since I have the periods I'm out so long.

Fireball

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2018, 11:31:27 AM »
I just did this on 1/1/18. Four days a week, 8 hours per day. Kept all benefits, but with a reduction in pay of course. It really is awesome in every way imaginable. Lol. It helps to have a really great boss that not only is OK with it, but actively tries to make it work for you.

robartsd

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Re: From 40 to 32 hour work week. Who has done it and tell us about it?
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2018, 11:51:14 AM »
Where I work pension and leave credits are proportional to time base, but medical benefits are the same for everyone 1/2 time or more. Pension even works out to be slightly better for part-timers because a full time month counts as 1/10 of a year (full-time year round leads to no additional credit in the pension system the last two months of the fiscal year). In this system a 32 hour workweek would earn 96% of the pension credit over the course of a full year.

If your goal is complete freedom as soon as possible (FIRE to travel the world), reducing your time base might not make sense. If your goal is to gain control of muck of the time in you life as possible (want time for projects at home) reduced time base can make a lot of sense (assuming your workplace is amicable). Even in a workplace that is happy to accommodate better work/life balance, I would expect promotional opportunities to be reduced (or eliminated) and your workload would probably not quite be reduced proportional to your reduced time.