Anyone looking for a flexible or remote job can attest to the numerous and different terms used to describe flexible work options.
While terms such as flexible schedule and remote work are fairly common job descriptions, less common terms, such as compressed schedule and hybrid work, are beginning to rise in popularity. This leaves many job seekers wondering, what is a compressed workweek?
What Exactly Is a Compressed Workweek?
Business News Daily defines a compressed workweek as a schedule where “employees maintain full-time working hours in a fewer number of days.”
Compressed workweeks can take on many forms, but it ultimately means working longer hours in fewer days per pay period. The most common example would be the shift work that firefighters generally hold.
What Does a Compressed Schedule Look Like?
Depending on your needs, the flexible schedule of a compressed workweek can vary greatly. Some people have a set schedule where they have every Friday or every other Friday off. Others may need the occasional day during the week, so their hours will then be longer than the other workdays.
Here are a few examples of a compressed workweek outside of the typical 40-hour workweek:
- Four 10-hour days to have an extra day off weekly
- Eight nine-hour days, giving an extra day every other week
- Three 12-hour days, providing a four-day weekend
Additionally, compressed workweeks may allow other flexible work options to meet the required weekly hours. For instance, some companies may allow their employees to work a hybrid schedule, with part of the work completed at home.
What Does It Take To Succeed in a Compressed Workweek?
A compressed workweek may sound like a perfect solution on paper, but in reality, this flexible work option is not for everyone. Before looking to work a compressed workweek, consider the following:
- Do you have the ability to stay focused for long periods of time?
- Is there available transportation for the early/late daily hours?
- How will you maintain productivity beyond a normal eight-hour day?
- Will you need extra childcare or elder care in place to cover longer hours?
- The advice from those who’ve tried it? To be successful, be intentional with your time on the extra day off. Use it to play with your kids, reconnect with your dog, or take care of home responsibilities. Maybe you have a side hustle or freelance career you’re getting up and running. Having an entire day each week to devote to it would be phenomenal.
Be Realistic About the Flexibility You Need
While compressed workweeks are not necessarily the right flexible schedule for everyone, they can be a great option to gain back an extra day and avoid a day of commuting. Before jumping into one though, be realistic about the physical demands and your personal obligations.