Monthly Archives: January 2013

Wk00/01 – TV

I’m not really sure what I am going to do with an additional day off to make a long weekend. Right now I can think of more things that need to be done than 3 months of long weekends provide time for: After playing with Noah, DIY is very high on the list – not least ripping out my flat roof balcony and installing a new one as the last straw of a 6 year undying leak, stripping and repainting the stairs, building 3 sets of shelves, restaining the timber floors, sanding the painted in carpet fluff out of the skirting boards, insulating the spandrels throughout.

It’s about time I started getting through some of the vast numbers of books I purchase – for the most part these are large architectural monographs, reading them late at night after a hard days work [and in a general state of tiredness because of my newborn sons sleeping pattern been more than a bit different to mine] does not usually result in very much of the thought behind them sinking in. I think I completely read about 1 in 4 with the other 3 been skimmed.

Other thinsg I might do: Finish respraying/chroming the colnago and put it back together, replay Final Fantasy 7, get serious about my allotment, try not to spend more money online [I’m not making any savings at all from no commute].

I am considering trialing Friday as a non internet day in an effort to save money and get stuff done but I am not sure this can work with smartphones and potentially taking work emails etc.


Working a 5-day week in 4 – Why?

We at Bauman Lyons Architects, a small team of 10, have decided to try for 3 months to work a 38 hour week over 4 days on the same salary with the same benefits.

We will record our collective and individual experiences throughout this period and at the end review it all to see whether we wish to continue to work in such a way.

There are several reasons for wanting to do this…

Over the last 4 years, since the financial crash of 2008, parts of western society has been nudging towards a great shift of values away from consumerism in favour of a more meaningful balance between life & work. Think Tanks such as the New Economics Foundation (NEF) have developed new metrics for measuring wealth based on happiness rather than on GDP, developing a roadmap, ‘The Great Transition’, of how we might get there.

In the same period other major challenges have emerged: the real time impact of climate change, the rapid disappearance of middle class jobs, the rising costs of living – especially of energy and increasingly of food – and the loss of trust in our major institutions: politicians and financiers.

But also, in the same period, the developments in technology and social media have made working conditions more flexible.

There is a growing need to change many things and we are no longer looking towards government policy to do this. We want to test some of our own ideas about how to live better within our means.

We hope that by working as hard as we always have but in a shorter week of longer days it may allows each one of us more time with family, more time for developing individual interests, more time to grow & make and more time to enjoy it all.

We also hope that the reduced weekly commute will free up valuable time and bring financial benefits, that the longer days will enable us more peer-to-peer learning and that the culture of overtime in our profession will thus be challenged.

We expect many challenges.

Over the next 3 months we will blog about our experiences, ‘warts and all’.