|12-04-2008, 05:41 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2008
Half-time job to have more free time ?
As I was a student and writing my thesis, I worked half-time in a company (I'm a software developer). Since I didn't spend my free time only writing my thesis, I had plenty of time to enjoy, go out: it was one of the best times of my life. I could earn enough money to survive and even put some money in the bank. Also, the half-time contract allowed me to choose which days I wanted to go to work. In fact, I could work less when there was less to do, and work more when there is more job to be done.
Now I already graduated a few years ago, and am also stuck in the usual 40-hours/week routine. So I just thought about what would happen if my wife and I would both work half-time: we could both have much more free time, earn enough money to live, and also put some in the bank. Sounds great !
Some people already earn lots of money, more than enough to survive. So what's the point of having to work full-time if you already earn enough money ?
Besides, some articles claim that it's possible to be more productive when working less hours than stretching it over the week.
Has anyone already done this experience only working half-time in a company and enjoying more free time ?
|12-04-2008, 06:03 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver WA
If I could do it, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Right now I'm actually working double-time so I can quit my day job to work full-time, and then eventually go half-time on my own terms.
Sort of the roundabout way... but I know I'll get there. It's just a matter of time.
|12-05-2008, 06:58 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
I did this for about a year. Working three days a week. I did spend another 2-3 days on projects of my own though, that didn't make me any money. I did have lots more free time, and more energy, time to go the gym, exercise and more. Also I had more time to cook healthy food, and all in all had it pretty great. So if you can afford it, it's pretty nice.
I changed jobs and now work 40+ hours a week.
I'm actually think that when you're doning brainwork, like software development, you will get more done by working less hours. Many times when I sit and code 8 hours straight, the last couple of hours are a bit wasted because I'm mentally tired. Working six hours a day, I would probably get the same amount of work done, or working 3-4 days a week. A lot of problems are solved subconsciously, while not sitting in front of the computer. I find the two most important thing to my productivity when coding is that I'm feeling rested and fresh, AND that I have a clear goal/plan for what I'm coding. On a good day I can easily manage to code five times as much as on a bad one.
Unfortunately, most employees wouldn't agree with me, so would never pay me for working 40 hours, if I only spent 30 of those actually at work.
|12-06-2008, 01:49 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2008
Thanks for your answers.
ragtag, I agree that working for shorter times or longer times doesn't make more or less productive. And it's not likely to have a "flow experience" for 8 hours a day straight.
I remember at the time where I worked half-time, I could choose at what time I would go to the company, so I could pick the moments where I was the most motivated and inspired, which made me very productive. Ah, good old times :-)
In the future, I will look forward to be in this situation again, if financially possible. And my intuition tells me that I will find it. :-)
|12-06-2008, 02:18 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2008
|12-07-2008, 01:50 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2008
Right now I'm working 16-20 hours at a company. I can do those hours whenever I please. Additionally, I work Sundays at another company. All the rest of my time is mine to do as I please. Secretly, I'm loving this (not the Sundays so much, though.) In reality, I'm not quite paying the bills. I really want to do more web dev with the rest of my free time because I truly enjoy it. But I really do prefer not going in to a single work place every single day at the same exact time whether there's a full 8 hours of work for me there or not. What a stupid waste of time that really is.
|12-11-2008, 02:33 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
I absolutely LOVE this idea, and have (often!) thought of it too.
To me, it makes perfect sense. Alas, I have not seen much evidence that employers are willing to go for it
I have heard of people who wanted/needed to go part time, were told it was not possible by their company, and yet when they threatened to leave (not an idle threat, they actually did plan to leave!) the company suddenly found a way to make it happen.
However, my experience is that most big companies can't accomodate this. If you're full-time doing software development, you're likely salary. If they don't have any hourly employees, they may not be set up to do that kind of payroll. On top of that, you have to figure out what will happen to things like healthcare, vacation time, etc.
It sucks that more companies don't offer it as an option. As was noted already, going part-time gives you more time to take care of yourself - get adequate sleep, cook healthy foods, exercise, volunteer or study a hobby, do your own personal development, socialize, etc... I find it really hard (impossible) to fit it ALL in with 40 hours (plus commuting, etc) of job.
(To that end, I LOVED Steve's most recent post - where he talks about jobs being a HUGE DISTRACTION and DRAIN!)
I've also heard of "job sharing" - which you might want to google-up a bit. Basically you team up 2 people, both working approximately half-time (maybe 24 hours a week or so) - who do a single job, together. Between them, they cover all the normal business hours, and they function as a single entity as much as possible (ie co-workers should feel confident that either person will be able to do the work and that the transitions between them will be smooth.)
It's a great idea. And the little bit I read online sounded like studies showed these people were more productive, got better reviews, and were generally happier (well, duh!) -- but again, I don't see many companies open to the idea...
Those who have done things like this - how did you find the opportunity? Did you start out doing the PT thing, or were you originally full-time, and negotiated down your hours?
In a way, it's all moot - after reading Steve's stuff, and alot of thinking (and years of outright suffering in the corporate scene!) I'm convinced that I need to do something myself - ie not have a "job". So I'm not sure that spending energy convincing an employer to let me work less is worth it - as opposed to spending that energy building up my skills that will let me go out on my own in the world.
Ugh - hope this didn't ramble to the point of being not-comprehensible, I'm exhausted... from the JOB!!! :P
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