For the past few years, during summer month, my employer has offered the option to work a compressed week. The rules have been a bit different each year, varying from no-compressed week at all (for some reason, they cancelled the program last year) to working enough extra hours in four days to take off a full day each week.
In the 5-6 years they’ve offered this program, I never took advantage. It always seemed to interfere with my gym schedule, and I didn’t want to get up a lot earlier than I already do.
But this year, there was just one option: work 1 extra hour a day Monday-Thursday and take Friday afternoon off.
That seemed ideal to me. Working an extra hour a day wouldn’t be too onerous. I could arrive 30 minutes early – the only downside would be that I would have to give up an hour of sleep time… but since I bike in the summer the impact would be minimal.
And staying an extra 30 minutes would mess up one or two of my regular group fitness classes, but I shuffled my gym schedule and found a few later classes to make up for that.
This was going to work! I was so excited for the first week of compressed hours – the first week of July. But I wasn’t prepared for how long the days would seem.
I figured the first couple of weeks would seem longer, but that I’d quickly get into the groove. Nope. Even now, seven weeks along, and I still find the days long. Oh, it’s better now – or maybe I’m just especially busy right now and that makes the time pass quicker – but I still notice it around 11:00 (the last hour before lunch) and again around 4:00 (the last hour before quittin’ time!)
In fact, back in July, I said I don’t think I’d be happy doing this year round. It’s fine for a couple of months, but that’s enough. I was often tired during the day (because while I had to get up earlier, I certainly didn’t want to go to bed any earlier. I’m a night owl.)
But my opinion has changed over the past couple of weeks. Maybe I’m finally adjusted, but I’d like to continue with these hours. Sadly, the whole program is coming to an end for another year. I’m going to miss that gleeful feeling I get on Fridays at lunch when my early weekend kicks in. At that point the memory of early mornings just fades away.
Maybe it’s for the best. Not sure I could keep up with getting in to the office on time once I have to put my bike away. It’s also harder to get up earlier in the dark when the days get shorter. Plus, it takes soooo much longer to get my winter commute gear on when the cold hits. I doubt I’d be able to manage a compressed week year round.
Still…Looking forward to next summer!