What is a Compressed Work Week?

Written By: Jasmine Crockett

While a compressed work week sounds like you would be working less, but unfortunately that is not the case. A compressed work week or schedule is a working 40-hours in a non-traditional way instead of the more traditional 9-5 five day work week. There are many different ways to negotiate your working schedule and various benefits.


Is a Compressed Work Week Right For You?

Maybe you would rather help your kids get ready for school, instead of rushing to get to work or have time in the evening to pick them up from school. But if you have a mentally or physically exhausting job, it may drain you or physically hurt you if you set up a long workday. If you do negotiate into working longer hours, then you will need to stay focused for more extended periods throughout that particular day. Also, make sure you have the childcare that can cover your unusual work hours, whether that be your spouse or a babysitter. On the positive side, you have more flexibility in your work hours while still earning your standard, full-time income. You also have fewer distractions at work since you’ll have free time on other days to take care of any appointments for you or your family.


What Type of Compress Work Schedule Would You Like?

There are many different ways to compress your 35-40 hour workload into a shorter number of days. You could work [4] 10-hour days and then take the fifth weekday off. For example, you can work Monday through Thursday from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. and then take the Friday off. You can also work [3] 12-hour days and then have four weekdays off. This is a more arduous work schedule with 24-hour shifts that are common with nurses, doctors, firefighters, and more.


Does This Schedule Improve Your Work/Life Balance?

Having days off from work could improve your professional and personal life balance. You could spend more time with your kids, or catch up on errands that you need to do. Many people believe that a compressed work week helps them balance work and family responsibilities like finding time for themselves. Make sure your schedule is beneficial for you, because working longer hours may be detrimental for you. A compressed work week can also be helpful and a viable option if you wanted to have more full days off, but still work the same amount of hours.

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