Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thirty Hour Work Week

I spent about a year and a half working thirty hours a week. Now that I am working full time (almost:), I understand how beneficial the thirty hour work week was for my young family. A thirty hour work-week reduced my pay by about $400 a month, but now I know that had anyone offered me $400 to work an additional 40 hours each month the answer would have been "no".

When you work 30 hours a week, you actually work 32.5 hours a week thanks to a mandatory 30 minute lunch break. When you work 40 hours a week, you are actually away from home for 45 hours a week because there is a mandatory unpaid lunch hour in the middle of your day. By giving up 10 hours of pay, you get 12.5 hours of life back to spend in any manner you desire -- definately worth it to me!

Working from 8:30am to 3:00pm I spent zero hours in traffic each day, I went grocery shopping after work when the stores were empty, I leisurely made dinner and ate with my family. I participated in a book club as I lacked "mother guilt" for spending so little time with my children. I pursued my hobbies and took time to do things by hand. Every weekend was kind of like a long weekend.

When I work until 5:00pm, I don't get the kids home until 6pm, and then it is a mad rush through dinner, baths, story time, and bed time by 8pm. After leaving so many things undone all week long, you spend your weekend playing catch-up with the laundry instead of playing with your kids. On top of that, the irony is that there was nothing that I got accomplished in 8 hours that couldn't have been done in 6 on most days. The two extra hours to spend with your kids and keeping up with daily chores makes a huge difference in quality of life for everyone involved.

In an era where unemployment is steadily rising, when companies are laying off competent workers to make ends meet, I wonder if it would be possible to make an argument for the 30 hour week.

1 comment:

Kayla said...

Amen, sister!!! Time is more precious than money. If you steward your income appropriately the money shouldn't be an issue anyway.