I started working at Bauman Lyons only a few weeks before the ‘5in4’ trial began, so the new working hours were part and parcel of me settling in, and didn’t feel like too much of an adjustment.
As a Part 1 I see my year out as a good chance to develop ideas and reflect on interests both within and outside the field of architecture, and working a four-day week definitely allows for this. It allows time to challenge and explore architectural thinking and prepare for what awaits in Part 2.
My 3 months of working in the office have flown by, and I can imagine working intensely for 5 days a week, as well as the occasional weekend (which most of my friends do) would make it go by even quicker – without really allowing any rest time to take a step back to look at what I’ve learnt/am learning.
Unlike my colleagues, I’m not a stage where I can compare ‘5 in 4’ to previous working routines, but it is an invaluable experience which I will undoubtedly reflect on in the future and something which I feel extremely lucky to be a part of.
The first couple of months of ‘5 in 4’ have felt positive and motivated, and despite my initial worries that longer hours would feel less productive I don’t think this has been the case – there is a definite sense of drive and purpose within the office.
Experiences so far:
– Shifting my sleeping pattern by an hour and a half made the first morning a little tough, but since then I’ve felt much livelier again as the new working hours are becoming routine.
– The additional working hours of each day have so far remained productive and haven’t yet given me that ‘it’s been a long day’ feeling. Neither do I feel that my evenings have been significantly shortened; there’s still plenty of time for me to relax and refresh for the following day.
– Starting work at 7:30am has encouraged me to be more efficient with my time in the mornings before I leave for work and I’ve so far managed to cut down my morning routine by roughly 20-25 minutes!
– The most frequent question I’ve been asked regarding the 5 in 4 experiment has to be ‘won’t people just work on the Friday anyway when a deadline is approaching?’… At this stage we can only wait and see what the answer will be.
– It doesn’t seem like the local newsagent is too happy about us buying one less paper each week!
– I’m hoping that this long weekend will be one of my most productive weekends to date due to the extra time that I will be able to spend on my personal projects and studies outside of the workplace. I believe that more can be achieved in the one Friday than in the five evenings of the previous working hours.
– As I’m not living with family here in Leeds I won’t experience many of the effects that the new hours have on family life, but I’m certainly interested to see how those living with partners and children find the change in routine.
– Although the first weekend is yet to come, I feel that there will be a positive impact on work/life balance
– I wonder if tea and coffee consumption will increase with the longer working hours, I’ll keep an eye on it!
– An early start hasn’t been a problem – I generally feel more productive in a morning but I do start to feel less productive when it gets to about 5 o’clock.
– Breaking off for lunch and getting some fresh air actually makes a difference and is really important when working longer hours – before I didn’t really leave the office for lunch.
– I think it should start to get a bit easier after a couple of weeks so the last few hours of the day don’t feel unproductive.
– Having Fridays off means planning to do something valuable with my time so that it doesn’t feel wasted. Hope to start doing more artwork and explore Leeds a bit more on my bike as I haven’t really had the chance to do so since moving here.
– Being unproductive towards the end of the day / making mistakes due to tiredness could lead to more time being spent time rectifying them.