5in4: Adjusting

The 2nd week is nearly over already. At this pace, before we know it, the first month of this trial period will pass us by in a flash!

So far (but these are still very early days), I’m finding this new set up positive overall.

Because I get up quite early anyway, the earlier alarm clock hasn’t bothered me at all. I am actually finding that getting up at 5.30 is much easier than 6.30am. I enjoy the quietness before the hustle & bustle of the day commences.

On the other hand getting home much later than ‘normal’ is not being very easy nor pleasant. BUT it is compensated with the days that I don’t travel, because as mentioned previously, I work part time.

One thing that makes the longer days/condensed week harder for me is travelling in bad, winter weather! Today for example, Leeds has been covered by few cm of snow. You can imagine the chaos! I am writing this post on my slow train home. Tonight I won’t get home till long gone dinner time. But at least, I hope, these are rare occasions, so it’s important not to dwell on it too much.

I am picking up good vibes from my colleagues. Certainly there seems to be a general good mood in the office. I haven’t yet asked whether this is because of the longer weekend.

Amongst the projects I am working on, one is an invited competition with a very interesting brief, but I expect the next few weeks to test and challenge our 5in4 format quite a lot. Will we manage our time effectively within a ‘shorter’ week? Will the tight deadline be just too tight?

Will our Fridays be truly off? In all honesty, I don’t know. But at least we are trying and we are not sticking our heads in the sand pretending the current culture in our profession is ‘just fine’. The architectural profession has a serious, latent problem with unhealthily long hours, which must be challenged (a global problem, not just for British architects). Similarly with another latent issue which is still pervading the profession.

Crunching those numbers!

My 4in3 means I now travel to work one day less than ‘normal’ and I found that:

  • I save 4 hours a week in train travelling
  • I commute 80 miles less a week
  • I save approximately 7kg of CO2 from travelling, a week (calculator used and its assumptions);
  • I save approximately £80 a month in train fares!

Onwards & upwards!