I have been thinking of my work-life balance.
It’s fine really – I work 7 hours a day, have an hour lunch, and have a 3 hour commute, making up an 11-hour working day. It’s nothing to complain about, especially as I get one day a week working from home, so I can then avoid the commute for a day.
So call it 52 hours a week on work-related stuff (though I get to sleep/read on the train, but ignore that).
That isn’t bad compared to many other people.
But I have been thinking of changing it.
Not a new job, or a re-location (we only bought the house a year ago, further away from work), but a change in hours.
First thought was to drop a day a week, but that seems like a lot: 20% of my pay would just disappear. I could live, and still reasonably comfortably (thanks to a nice promotion & pay-rise last year), but 20% seems a lot. And work may not go for it as they need the work doing.
But one of Adam’s colleagues does 90%; he works 9/10 days. He gets every other Friday off. That sounds do-able. 10% pay cut, the work can still get done, and I get a day off every two weeks.
But would it be worth it? Is such a small drop in working hours that much different? Would it give me so much more time? Is the drop in money worth it?
I have asked the internet (Googled) to see if anyone has discussed this before, but all I can see is nurses talking about 0.9 FTE over a load of different shifts/weeks, so not quite my circumstances.
I’ve done the maths, and calculated what I would lose per day I didn’t work, and then how much annual leave I would lose and how many ‘unpaid’ days I would get etc. etc. (everything gets put in a spreadsheet with me) but it doesn’t tell me what to do.
My main concern is that I would waste time – sit in front of the TV, sleep til noon and basically achieve nothing. I think I would have to have a plan. I have my marathon plan to get through, so some daylight hours would be good for that. I also thought about maybe doing something with my Dad – get him c25k-ing, or out on his bike (he recent gave me one too – not sure if this is a hint, or not) for example.
This all started as someone at work has gone on a sabbatical for 3 months. I am not sure if it is unpaid, or how it is worked out, but it sounds like bliss! I have been in this place (a large NGO in various roles) for over 9 years now and in terms of leave/absences I have only ever had two weeks off once and then one week once/twice a year. That is a long time in one place without a break.
My partner has held a number of jobs since we have been together, often being in one place for 6 months before having a month or two off before starting another role. I didn’t, and can’t still, know what that is like, having come out of uni, straight into this role and have just got stuck here.
I have no real reason to leave: I change roles every couple of years, I am paid well and the people are great. But maybe I make it less by 10%.
Has anyone done this? What are the pros and cons? Is it then hard to go back to full-time as you have to convince your employers that the work needs to take longer again!?
Any advice/thoughts would be appreciated.