Column: No beef with a four-day week
March 22, 2023
While there certainly are some hassles about being self-employed, there are also many rewarding things.
One of my favorite things about having a home office is unless I’m out covering an event or doing an in-person interview, I can wear whatever I want. There is something comforting about writing a story or editing photos in sweatpants and a t-shirt. Based on watching this year’s NCAA Basketball tournament, college coaches are also fine wearing the equivalent of pajamas while they work.
While I do enjoy the mini office in my bedroom, I sometimes miss working at an office and the daily shenanigans with co-workers at papers ranging from five to 30 employees.
As much as I miss it, I’m sure if I ever returned to working for someone else, I would have a rough time adapting to a set schedule. Doing a lot of work from home has my hours everywhere. Sometimes I work at 4 in the morning. Sometimes I’ll go and write a story at 9 p.m. It varies all the time, and I don’t mind it all. I do not have anyone telling me where and when to be somewhere.
At my first newspaper job as a reporter at the Daily Rocket Miner, my shift was from 1:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. I hated those hours. Everything was closed when I got off work, so I could not do much. I hated having to run errands before work, which made the day seem like it would never end.
In Washington State, I worked at a place where it was a traditional Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. My biggest issue with this is that it was a salaried position, and you could not leave early when you had to cover a council meeting in the evening or a basketball game on a Saturday. I always thought that was stupid. With the little amount they were paying, I don’t think it would have hurt anything if I took off a few hours early on a Friday.
I keep reading about how many places are switching to a four-day work week and I love it. There are some occupations where this would not be ideal, but I feel this is an excellent idea for the most part.
Sure, the workdays might be a bit longer, but I feel I would be much more efficient. The best part of it would be a lot of people would be getting three-day weekends.
Life is short. Why not enjoy it as much as possible and not be tied to the archaic five-day-a-week schedule? If I were ever to try to work again at a larger newspaper, I would only do it if it was a four-day schedule.
I had a conversation with someone that said I would be lazy if I worked a four-day week. I explained I didn’t think it would make me lazy. It just means there are many more important things to me than being tied to an office 71 percent of the week.
I know a lot of school districts are also moving to a four-day school week, and I also love this idea. I just hope teachers and staff are getting as much time off as the students.
At the end of the day, I don’t plan on applying for another job anytime soon, whether it be a four-day, five-day, or seven-day schedule.
I’m okay with typing in my pajamas.