4-day work weeks, jerks who sap your productivity, and more

Over at Intuit QuickBase’s Fast Track blog today, I take a look at several interesting work-related stories in the news right now: how jerks can sap your productivity, whether we should all be on a four-day work-week, and more. You can read it here.

{ 101 comments… read them below }

  1. Oryx*

    As someone who works a 4 day work week and hates it, I always wonder what the word “shorter” means in these contexts. That is, I work 4 10s so it’s not really any shorter, it’s just crammed into four very long, very exhausting days and I spend most of the weekend trying to catch up on relaxation.

    But, if they mean “shorter” by doing 4 8s and only working 32 hours of work, that’s far more reasonable and still allows for a healthy work-life balance (which is my main contention with my current schedule)

    1. GeekChic*

      I work 4 9s and I don’t notice the extra hour. But 36 hours is full time here (so I get my full salary and benefits) and I have a really short commute.

      My two most recent jobs had the same schedule and I won’t work 5 days a week ever again. That said, I definitely don’t miss the notion that 40 hours is full time – let only places that expect even longer.

      1. Koko*

        I think this is ideal. And honestly, a lot of the research of productivity suggests people can be just as productive in 4 9-hour days as they will in 5 8-hour days, even though it’s technically 4 hours less work. People are more refreshed from the long weekend so they can produce more work per hour, and they also have a greater ability to dive into projects and work uninterrupted in a 9-hour stretch as opposed to an 8-hour stretch. Plus, there’s the old maxim that “work expands to fill the time allotted” – when there’s less time to work, you waste less time.

    2. Charlotte Lucas*

      I’ve done the 4 10-hour days and loved it. But I was also starting late morning to early afternoon(training part-time evening employees). I got all my normal “afterwork” stuff done in the morning (running errands at 10:00 am when everyone else is at work is great!) and could relax when I got home. Then I had Fridays off. But I can see how starting at 8 or 9 and working for 10 hours would be exhausting if then you had all your evening stuff afterwards.

    3. limenotapple*

      At my last job (a community college), we had 4 day work weeks for the summers and they were only 9 hours. The college decided that it was better to just pay everyone for a full week but have them work 36 hours. It was heavenly. And it did make people happy and productive and save money. However, I am with you on the 10 hour days. I just don’t think I could do it. At my current work we take 1 hour unpaid lunches, so that is a pretty long day.

      1. Adam*

        Same here. My commute is usually going to be at least 40 minutes. Between that and a longer work day and hopefully getting some time at the gym I’d be lucky if I had maybe two hours of “free time” when I got home before going to bed.

      2. Tyrannosaurus Regina*

        For a while I worked four nines and a four, and that was actually pretty great. The nine-hour days didn’t feel too terribly long, and the half day on Fridays ruled. …I miss that.

    4. Aunt Vixen*

      I did four 10’s alternating which was my day off for a while – that is, I’d work M-R one week and T-F the next, so half my weekends were two days and half were four – when my dad was sick and it was a way of being able to get home to help or visit him without burning up all my leave. But it wasn’t anything I could sustain for very long. After a few months of that he was doing better and I went back to five 8’s (and then when he got worse again it happened really quickly, so I did use a combination of annual and bereavement leave, which is what that sort of thing is for – not for maintenance arrangements).

    5. Ann Furthermore*

      I’m a big fan of the “9/80” approach, meaning you work 5 9-hour days in week 1, 4 9-hour days in week 2, and then get Friday of week 2 off. Some people at my company do this, and I’d love to have it as an option in our department. For many people it’s no big deal, as they already work 9 hour days anyway, if they don’t take a lunch.

    6. Oryx*

      I think my biggest issue with my current schedule is I’m gone 12 hours a day — I have a 30 min commute so I leave at 8:30 pm to be there by 9, work 10 hours + an hour lunch, so I’m done at 8pm and then get home at 8:30 pm. If I want to attend an event after work, like dinner with friends or anything scheduled at 6 or 7 pm, I have to use PTO and who wants to do that? I’ve been doing this for almost five years and am SO OVER IT.

      I have a second interview for a job next week (thank you AAM!) that is a traditional schedule and I’m actually looking forward to working that if I’m hired.

      1. Steve G*

        That does sound exhausting. And I go to insanity fitness and yoga that start at 8pm, 2X a week at 7pm. I really wouldn’t want to give up free, awesome yoga lessons just for a “flexible” schedule. Also, as an occasional wino, this is setting me up for problems. I’m sure that every few weeks I’ll be getting to a dinner/drinks past 9pm and wouldn’t have time to recover before the next day.

    7. Victoria, Please*

      We work 4/10s in the summer and I HATE IT. Not only are we all exhausted, we lose two days of productivity, not one.

    8. Beaker*

      I’m currently on rotating 4/10s with one week of M-Th and the next T-F. The hours are 8:30-7:00. I’ve worked 4/10s for the past 6 years and, even though I love the long weekends, it’s hard to find the time or energy to do anything in the week. And those extra 2 hours are loooonng. I’m finally changing shifts at the beginning of July and will be working 7:30 – 4:00, 5 days a week. Hopefully this will mean more energy after work.

      1. Kyrielle*

        I was doing 4/9s but with a 1.5-2 hour round trip commute time.

        I am now doing 5/8s with a 10-minute round trip commute time (40 if I walk instead), and I am loving the feeling of having a life again. Even though I had an extra day off in the other schedule, my days feel so much more manageable in this one.

        I now race to pick my kids up on time for when I intend to serve dinner. Before, I raced to get home in time to gobble some food before bedtime (or in some cases to be there by bedtime).

        Huge, huge difference.

    9. lowercase holly*

      we have the 5-day week/4-day week schedule. we’re supposed to work 9 hrs on the shorter week, but as an exempt employee i’ve just evened it all out to 8.5 hrs every day except the friday that i work.

  2. Cath in Canada*

    I would love a four day week. Every time we have a long weekend for a holiday, I feel so much more productive and energised at work the following week. Sadly my office doesn’t allow it, but at least we don’t have any real jerks around, so that’s something.

    On the zoning out thing: I have all my best ideas while riding my bike to and from work! If I’m on the bus instead I listen to podcasts, but if I’m on my bike the fresh air and exercise seem to let the creative juices flow. The ride also acts as a really great buffer between work and home time; I do less thinking about work in the evenings on days when I’ve ridden home.

    1. Elizabeth West*

      What I hate about the zoning out is that I get ideas when I’m doing something where I can’t write them down, and then when I get done (or get home, if I’m taking a walk), I forget them!

      I need to make better use of the voice recorder on my phone(s).

      1. KJR*

        I do the same thing! I was thinking the other day I need to one of those crayon things that kids can use in the bathtub to write my ideas on the shower wall! My family would probably think I’d gone and lost it for good…

        1. A Bug!*

          When I carried a larger purse than I do now, I used to keep a small notebook and a golf pencil. Not so handy in the shower, mind…

        2. teclagwig*

          There are adult versions of this! Check Amazon for Aqua Notes waterproof notepads — looks like you can affix these to your shower wall. I haven’t tried them yet, as I just learned of them last week in an ADHD book. (There may be other brands, this is just what I found by searching for “waterproof notepad shower.”)

  3. AnonymousaurusRex*

    We work a 9×80 schedule–so 5 day work week followed by a 4 day work week, with 9 hours each day (except one “short” 8 hour day) for a total of 80 hours in every 2 week period. It’s the best. thing. ever. Not as long as 4 10 hour days (which I loved at my old job, but would be totally impossible with my current commute), and the 4 day week always feels “short.” I hope to never work a regular 40 hrs/week 5 day schedule again!

    1. Ad Astra*

      So your days feel about as long as mine but you get a three-day weekend every other week? [heart eyes emoji]

    2. Aunt Vixen*

      I love my 9/80. (Mine’s not precisely 9/80 because we’re paid semimonthly rather than biweekly, so pay periods can be 80, 88, or 96 hours – but the upshot is the same. Only difference is the months with five Fridays in them; back in the world of biweekly pay, half the five-Friday months meant an extra paycheck, but now in the world of semimonthly pay and compressed work schedules, half the five-Friday months mean two five-day work weeks in a row. The horror. ;-) )

  4. Cajun2Core*

    At one place where I worked, we were able to work 9 hours days and have every other Friday off. Half the team took one Friday off and the rest of the team took the other Friday off. It was wonderful. We could schedule doctor, hair-cut and other appointments without having to take any time off. Also, 9 hours isn’t that long of a day. Yes, it took a bit of getting used to but it wasn’t that difficult. It was the best of both worlds as we didn’t work a 10 hour day (which as one person stated is quite long) and we got every other Friday off!

    1. SanguineAspect*

      This would be amazing. It would never work in my office (smallish consulting shop, where we’re all working more than 40 hours most weeks)–but I’d KILL for 3-day weekends every-other week.

    2. Paloma Pigeon*

      I worked in an office that had the same schedule – but it penalized those that had childcare issues. The flex times to arrive were 7, 7:30, or 8 am. Due to drop off at my children’s school, I could never arrive at work before 8 am. So I worked 5 day weeks with shorter hours. Never having those 30 Fridays off let to severe burnout for me – and also affected moving forward many of my projects when people would disappear on Thursday afternoons and nothing was picked up until Monday mornings.

      1. Cajun2Core*

        That is a shame. They should have found a way to work with you on that so that you could have the same benefits as the others.

    3. SystemsLady*

      I would be completely on board with a four hour work week if the days were 9 hours long and the standard was 36 hours a week. I’ve tried 10 hours and, with the exception of if I have something immediately pressing to do, it just doesn’t work for me.

      Lately, with more ability to flex my time, I’ve been approximately doing nine hour days (working through half of lunch and working an extra half hour) with a half day on Friday. It’s been working pretty well. If I don’t hit nine on a given day, I work a correspondih extra hour on Friday.

      1. Tyrannosaurus Regina*

        Yeah, I don’t know why ten hours feels So Much Worse than nine hours (to me) and I imagine a lot of it depends on the nature of the work and one’s commute, but…yeah. 9 > 10, for me at least. By a substantial margin.

    4. CheeryO*

      I am counting the days until I hit my one year anniversary at my current job and can go on the 9/80 schedule (actually 9/75, since we do 37.5 hour work weeks). I am already starry-eyed thinking about taking every other Friday to sleep in and run errands and do my long runs.

    5. Jennifer*

      Hah, they tried that in my office before I got there and apparently it was a total train wreck because “nobody’s here to answer questions!” Sigh.

      1. Cajun2Core*

        That is why we rotated every other Friday off. 1/2 the team was there on Friday to answer questions.

  5. A good old canuck*

    At my work we get every third Friday off. In terms of hours it means that I work an extra 30 minutes each day. So instead of working 8-4 I work 8-4:30. I really like this set up. I hardly notice the extra half hour each day and I get that day off during the week for appointments etc.

    1. Elizabeth West*

      That would work for me.
      I typically work 8:30–4:30 without taking a lunch break. I probably wouldn’t mind working until 5 to get the extra day, instead of just part of a day.

  6. Rebecca*

    I hope we never go to 4 10 hour days. 10 hours = 10 1/2 hours with an unpaid lunch (I’m non-exempt) plus over 1 1/2 hours commuting. To me, that sounds exhausting. I guess if I liked my job, and it was actually something I wanted to do, maybe it would be different :(

  7. Chickaletta*

    Four day work weeks? A solid argument to get rid of jerks? A good reason to zone out? Sign me up!

  8. Nanc*

    I found 4 day work weeks exhausting and I only had a 10 minute commute. I eventually switched to working Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday and that helped a bit, but yeah, a ten hour day means for two of those hours I’m just going through the motions because my brain can no longer focus.

    1. SevenSixOne*

      I think the best way to approach this is to give the employees some choice in the matter if your business needs will support it.

      Some people are just fine with their 40 hour work week as 8 hours x 5 days but others may prefer a 10 hours x 4 days. Still others may prefer something like 10 hours x 3 days +5 hours x 2 days or 50 hours one week and 30 hours the next.

      I also wish more employers would consider making specialized, non-leadership positions part-time– not every high-level role has 40 hours’ worth of work each week!

  9. SaraV*

    We were having a rough time with trying to figure out why a certain process wasn’t working properly in some software we were building/testing. I still remember having that “Aha!” moment in the shower on what we were doing wrong…and that was nearly 10 years ago.

    1. Windchime*

      I’m a programmer and this happens to me, too. Something about the hot water and shampoo….I can be thinking of nothing at all, and then the answer just pops into my head. Washing dishes is the same way. I even had a dream one time that I was sitting in a classroom and the person in front of me turned around and told me the answer to a problem we’d been having in real-life at work! The mind is a funny thing.

    2. Liizzy May*

      The shower was where I wrote most of my papers in university. I’d do the reading then hop in the shower and typically come out with a solid outline and a few lines I’d scribble down still in my towel. When you’re not focused on the problem at hand, its like your mind just gets your thoughts organized for you.

      1. Paloma Pigeon*

        There is a reason for this. The ‘left brain’ is occupied with a mundane, routine physical activity and because it’s a repetitive motion you have done thousands of times before you don’t have to pay attention to what you are doing. Thus the freedom for the mind to wander. Walking, driving a route you are very familiar with, washing dishes, etc. work the same way.

        The next time you are mentally blocked make time to do a repetitive physical activity. This works in long form improv!


  10. YandO*

    I would love working 4 10 hour days with Fridays (or Mondays) off, as long as this is company-wide policy. What I hate is forcing myself to stay at my desk for 10 hours when everyone is gone and there is not much work to do. Nothing gets me more annoyed than sitting at my desk for the sake of sitting vs getting stuff done.

    I am alone in my office often and generally speaking I can take Fridays off as long as I make up my hours within a few weeks. I have found it really difficult to make up hours when there is a business reason for me to stay longer on a given day (i.e. client meeting).

  11. Wut?*

    Wait, what industry are you all in that you have a 4 day work week? (So that I can switch from my 6 day/week!)

    1. Kyrielle*

      When I had it (four nines), software engineering. (Still in software engineering, no longer on a four nines schedule.) Most of my coworkers there didn’t have it – I negotiated it.

  12. AW*

    I have no idea why anyone would think that having jerks on your team *wouldn’t* hurt productivity. I mean, has anyone ever said, “I do my best work when I’m so mad I can’t think straight!”? No, of course not.

    1. Beezus*

      If my job was drafting and deleting witheringly biting retorts via email, then yes, I do my best work then. ;)

    2. Anonsie*

      I do feel a little bit like that’s one of those University of No Duh studies, but on the other hand proof is always good to have.

        1. Anonsie*

          UoND studies are why I had to stop reading the Friday letter from the APHA, it was all multi million dollar studies out of Ivies and places like that saying “smoking around babies is still as bad for them.” You don’t say?

          1. Melissa*

            It’s SO WEIRD. I’m an academic in public health and that frustrates me, that we spend money reconfirming things we already know, but part of the reason is that researchers actually ask for that stuff. For example, I submitted a paper to a journal, and part of my literature review was establishing that past literature shows a link between drug use and unprotected sex in my population. Most of this work has been done in the late 1980s through the early 2000s, and it’s established fact in the field, so I used citations from that time period coupled with more recent ones that elucidated some nuances in the findings (e.g., drugs interact with mental health to produce risk, blah blah). I actually got dinged by at least 2 out of the 3 reviewers for having old citations in my paper! Anything older than 10 years was considered “too old.”

            That’s where the original research is! Nobody is beating that dead horse today. The ironic thing is if I did a study in 2015 with the simple premise that drug use is related to unprotected sex in this population, I’d get reviews that say “How is this a new contribution to the field? REJECT.”

            1. Anonsie*

              That’s the thing that really burns my grits about it. Well, aside from the fact that it’s always massive grants and I’m sitting there going “how in the world did you need a million dollars a year to do that??” when in my group $20k could get you the same thing in a new and needed arena. I guess that burns my grits the most, watching tons of funding to go safe studies and allowing major knowledge gaps to persist. But also just how this has become so routine. Major center established a major registry or tracking of some kind and now year after year they just suck in grants and spit out re-re-re-re-re-confirmations of the same stuff. And if they didn’t, people would start huffing and puffing about how maybe secondhand smoke started curing cancer in the last ten years, you have to check or you won’t know!

              Also, reviewers don’t know what they’re talking about like 90% of the time and that’s just scorched grits 24/7. I have never received a negative note from a reviewer that wasn’t either 1) something discussed in the proposal or paper that they just didn’t notice somehow or 2) blatantly in pursuit of their own interests or 3) just regular ol’ silly.

    3. Jennifer*

      I know my work has gone downhill since well….I deal with a lot of jerks. They make me look bad and I perform badly while working in fear.

    4. TootsNYC*

      I worked on a team that had a jerk. That was always my point to the manager about why he needed to be reined in.

      He’d be nasty to someone, and they’d spend several minutes venting, complaining, calming down. (I likened it to the way oysters cushion themselves by coating the irritation with nacre.) Then the person could get back to work. He was in charge of deadlines (sort of–if we struggled with them, nobody blamed him; and we didn’t struggle that hard anyway).

      It was costing us a ton of productivity. I suggested that they use this productivity loss to point out to him that his attacking tone and nastiness were actually working against his goal, because people wouldn’t react as promptly or as well.
      The guy I suggested this to seemed surprised that my complaint was based on the productivity and not on “he’s so mean to me!” or “It’s unpleasant.”

      1. Steve G*

        I hear you. I’d spent 15-20 minutes at a shot playing email tag with people calming them down after an encounter with office a-hole because you couldn’t have those conversations within ear shot of other people. Not productive in the traditional sense, but you had to make people feel better to move along.

    5. Windchime*

      No kidding.

      Our resident jerk quit a couple of weeks ago. It was amazing….I knew I couldn’t stand him and he bugged me, but the feeling in the room is so much better with him gone. There are no bad, anxious vibes anywhere. The room is peaceful and quiet, with occaisional soft conversations and keys clicking. It’s awesome.

    6. Lily in NYC*

      My opinion is that no one really believes that and it’s just an excuse almost every boss I’ve ever worked with uses so they don’t have to deal with the issue. Even the bosses I really liked were wimps when it came to dealing with jerky employees (except one awesome boss who was excellent at protecting his team).

  13. Ann Furthermore*

    A big YES to the point about jerks…if we can redefine “jerk” to mean “completely insane.” I’ve got someone on my team right now who has totally lost it, because she is bound and determined to find a reason for our project to not move forward. And the more things she identifies as “complete disasters” that her management or the project team deems “minor issues,” the harder she tries, and is becoming more and more irrational and demanding. It’s exhausting, not to mention unbelievably frustrating.

    1. Ruffingit*

      Yup, the jerk on my team is unfortunately the boss so that makes it even worse, but I sympathize with anyone dealing with jerks in the workplace. It’s totally exhausting in so many different ways.

  14. 'callaKid*

    I work a four-day week – 9.30 hours a day, 45 minute lunch, 9-6:30. It’s exhausting and my brain shuts off bout 4, but I “leave” at 6:30; spend Friday catching up on sleep. Not fun.

    1. Oryx*

      Yes, having a schedule that leaves you so exhausted you need to spend part of that “bonus” day catching up kind of defeats the point.

  15. baseballfan*

    I’m kind of surprised by all the comments against a 4×10 weekly schedule. The people I’ve known in the past who had such a schedule couldn’t stop raving about it.

    I’d personally like to have the option. But then, I’ve been working 5×10 or more for my whole career, so a 10 hour day is NBD to me.

    1. Jennifer*

      Well, I’m generally completely fried after 8 hours of drama and bitching around here and we’re all just praying for escape around hour six. I don’t see how anyone can sustain 10.

      Maybe that works better in quieter jobs.

    2. Another HRPro*

      I agree. I currently work at least a 5×10 weekly schedule. If I had to cram all of my work into 4 days it would be very difficult.

    3. The IT Manager*

      1st off though – is it 10 hours plus and half hour or hour unpaid lunch at work? because then that’s 10.5 – 11 hours at work, plus commute. People who work that scheduled often don’t have the energy to do anything but sleep on the days that they work.

      Obviously it depends on the person, but for some people 4×10 – which wasn’t really what the article advocated – is too much.

    4. Oryx*

      Like IT Manager said, it depends on what the reality of the situation is in terms of lunch and commute. I work 4 x 10s, but then I also have an hour lunch so I’m here 4 x 11, plus I have a half hour drive in the morning and at night so I’m gone 12 hours a day.

    5. ThursdaysGeek*

      Yeah, apparently, none of the commenters against it are those who regularly work 60+ hours a week and get paid for 40. 10 hour days, 5-6 days a week, are pretty normal for a lot of people. Not me, fortunately, and I’d be glad to go to 8 9’s or 4 10’s and get longer weekends.

    6. Pennalynn Lott*

      Yep, except for a two year period of underemployment at Home Depot, I’ve only ever worked 5×10 (or 5×10-12). I have no idea what a 40-hour work week looks like in a professional setting. And I’ve done those 5×10’s with an hour commute each way. 4×10 would be a vacation. :-)

  16. Jill 2*

    Where are all these mythical 4-day a week jobs? I have never seen such a thing posted about anywhere.

    Since I routinely pull a 5 x 10, 4 x 10 sounds absolutely wonderful to me.

    1. Jill 2*

      By posted I mean, job postings from these companies. They must be so in demand they don’t even have to advertise jobs…

      1. Windchime*

        We don’t post it at all here. I work in IT and I’m fortunate that there is a lot of flexibility, schedule-wise, at my workplace. Most of my team has a regularly scheduled work-at-home day. One guy works at home two days a week because he has a long commute via ferry. People on other teams work 4-10s and then other do the 9/80 and get every second Friday off.

        In other words, sometimes it’s not “official policy”, but the flexibility could be there for the asking.

        (Yesterday I woke up with a migraine. It was my work at home day, so I just emailed the team and went back to bed, then worked 11 AM till 7 PM. It’s so nice to have that flexibility).

  17. Miss Betty*

    I loved my four day week and want to ask for it back but it’s not financially feasible right now. It was four 7.5 hour days (we always work 7.5 hour days) so only 30 hour a week – but that’s full time for us, so I didn’t lose any benefits. Plus, I chose to take Wednesday off in addition to the weekend. Two days on, one off, two on, two off. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!! (Yes, it warrants all those exclamation points – and more!) Have a day off in the middle of the week was even better than a long weekend, not the least of which was I could go to the movies if I wanted, feel like I was playing hooky (but I wasn’t), and no crowds. Seriously, I’m looking at our budget at home to see if there’s any way I can go back to it. (Oh yes, back to the topic – I think I was as productive then and I am now with a five day work week. I think my logs would back that up.)

  18. Virginian*

    As a person on a forced four-day work week, I absolutely hate them. I’d rather do 8.5 hours five days a week so I can have more time at home and more time to sleep in in the morning.

  19. Ad Astra*

    I had a four-day schedule through most of college and loved it. That Friday was perfect for scheduling appointments or going out of town, but I could also use it to catch up at the office if I needed to.

  20. Dana*

    Seems like there is a huge difference between 4 10-hour days for a 40 hour workweek or 4 8-hour days and a 32-hour “full time” workweek. I would love a 32-hour workweek and a weekday off because using up PTO for appointments is really not its purpose IMO. I’m not recharging or doing something fun, it’s just work of a different sort, and it doesn’t make me feel rested and ready to dive back in.

    1. Anonsie*

      I feel like if I worked a 32 hour week I wouldn’t even feel like I was working. When I worked 20 I swear it felt like I didn’t even have a job. I could go for that. My job is a little too stressful and fire-putting-out-ing to feel like ten hour days would be better, but I’ve had jobs where it probably would have been fine.

      I’m imagining all the readers from countries where a 32-36 hour week is standard are chuckling to themselves as we discuss this.

  21. Jake*

    I miss the four day work week.

    The only downside was that it was easier for the company to pressure you into a ton of overtime. It is more reasonable to ask somebody to work an extra 10 or 20 when the standard work day is 10 than it is to either ask somebody to work over every week day or ask them to put in long hours on the weekend.

  22. AcademiaNut*

    I’d love a three day weekend. One day for practical stuff – laundry, shopping, cleaning, cooking, fixing things. One day for doing nothing much. One day to go out and do something interesting. We usually manage the first two, but don’t scrape up the energy to do something interesting, which means we end up in a rut.

    I can’t see the four day week working in my field, though. The implicit assumption is that you’re already regularly working on evenings and weekends, so at most, it would be an extra work from home day. As it is, I’ve lost the better part of four weekends so far this year to international travel.

    1. Melissa*

      Yeah, I would love that too. I usually end up using one day to do nothing and split the other day in half between doing practical stuff and something interesting, but one always ends up overtaking the other – and so groceries don’t get bought or clothes don’t get watched, OR I feel like all I did all weekend was run errands and sleep.

  23. Jabberwocky*

    We recently got a jerk at my company. He’s split between two departments and has had very very little training in ours. Three times now I have trained him on a task and he has decided that the process we use to do the task is bad or inefficient and he proceeds to loudly lecture me about all his thoughts on it. Then he emails my boss why the current process is bad and should be fixed in the way he’s suggested.

    Unfortunately I have spoken to my manager multiple times about it and nothing gets addressed.

  24. Melissa*

    I get all of my best ideas

    1) In the shower.
    2) In the morning, when I am walking my dog.
    3) On my runs/while working out.
    4) Laying in bed at night trying to go to sleep.

    It’s exactly that – letting my mind meander in circles usually means I think of something I hadn’t hit on before. Ironically (but understandably in the context of the article) the time when it’s hardest for me to think of new ideas is…staring at my computer screen trying really really hard. LOL.

  25. Elocution*

    I work 3 10s, a 6, and a 4 — 10 hours Monday, 6 Tuesday, 10 Wednesday, 4 Thursday, 10 Friday. Some (many!) weeks I’ll work longer on Tuesday and skip Thursday entirely because there’s not enough to do to justify coming in. I have an hour commute each way if traffic is good, an hour lunch break in the middle, and a boss who is flexible about working hours and encourages work-life balance.

    I think it would burn me out to do 4 10s in a row. Knowing I have half-days to recover between the longer days, however, lets me plan to get all sorts of stuff done on weekdays without burning out.

  26. Kate*

    I work for a nonprofit school and in the summer our business office has four day work weeks – for the majority of us that are salaried, our hours are just cut. It is so much better than the normal five day work weeks during school, because it is our slow season and the pace is like a recharge to gear us up for the solid ten months of nonstop craziness during the school year. In college I had a summer job where I worked four ten hour days and it was okay, but it was an easy job. I would not want to have that schedule now. Four eight or nine hour days is about all I can do on a regular basis, unless I have a major event or project such as annual tax statements and need to put in a lot of overtime.

    We have a jerk coworker in my department – my predecessor, who decided (when I was offered the position) to not retire after all. No one in our department can work with her, and she is so overbearing and rude to me I feel stifled and it definitely affects my productivity. I don’t even want to work on certain tasks when she is around. I have taken days off to avoid her. It got so bad my doctor diagnosed me as having had a panic attack in a meeting – I do have GAD – and prescribed an anti-anxiety medication just to get through my work day! I feel so fortunate I received a promotion to a new department and will be moving my office to another part of the building and won’t have to deal with her. This experience made me realize it DOES affect productivity – I just had never experienced it before.

  27. _ism_*

    Our local “jerk” is the HR Lady/Safety director. She just magically completed a project in 30 minutes that I spent months on, making sure we’re up to compliance on an important aspect of employee safety in the factory. I guarantee you her version (which she didn’t bother to send me a copy of) is not up to compliance, and it’s the document that is supposed to specificy exactly what we are doing, who is responsible for which parts, and what the procedures are. All she did was change some names on the version of it she wrote 5 years ago, before all these OSHA laws changed. Her reasoning, she tells my boss and the engineers and safety personnel and basically everyone but me, is that I “argue with everything she says.” Um OK why was I put on this project to bring our factory safety plan up to compliance under new OSHA laws, if me trying to inform her of our NEW responsibilities is “arguing?” The same thing happened when I had some complicated questions about my health insurance and she’s the lady to ask. Instead of letting me finish explaining details she needed to know, she interrupted me and said I talk like a know-it-all. This kidn of thing happens EVERY TIME I have to discuss anythign with her. It’s ruining me.

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