Compressed hours

Working compressed hours means working the usual number of hours you would work in a week but in fewer days.

Pros of compressed hours

You may find that you are more productive as you will have longer blocks of time during which to focus on your work.  And unlike part-time work, you don’t have to sacrifice salary for flexibility as you would be working the same number of hours as a full-time employee.

Working compressed hours can lead to savings in travel and childcare costs.  It can also reduce the amount of time you spend travelling each week and may make your commute easier if you are travelling outside rush hours. 

Working compressed hours also lets you enjoy full or half days off while earning a full-time salary.

And single people may find the idea of compressed hours attractive as they can use the long weekends which usually come with compressed hours to travel or study.

Cons of compressed hours

If you have a mentally challenging or stressful job, working longer days may cause problems.

Compressed hours may not work well for parents of young children who wish to take and pick up their children from school. 

It may also be difficult to find childcare that extends to the number of hours you need to work on your working days.  And family tasks need to be fitted in to fewer hours on the days that you are working.

If there are a number of people in your department or team at work who work compressed hours, you may not be able to take a Monday or Friday as the day you don’t work.

Making the case for working compressed hours

Your employer will need to know how you intend to fit your existing duties into a shorter working week.