Posted by Tim Stobbs on October 21, 2015
Recently I had a frank discussion with my boss about the fact I’m around two years out from leaving the company. I didn’t provide an exact date, but we did discussion his question “How do I get you to stay around longer?” I bluntly answered at the time “Working less. Like a lot less.” So we started an investigation into options on how to get that done.
Unfortunately I came to realize just how hostile my workplace policies are towards part time work. While I give my workplace full credit for being open to discussing the idea of part time work in actual practice the policies aren’t much good beyond getting perhaps 80% to 90% time rather than the full 100% of full time work. I ran multiple potential scenarios on to see if 60% was doable, but most of the time the overall costs to the company made the option of doing this hard to justify as the polices are stuck in thinking of bodies not dollars.
In the end, I just went with the path of least resistance. I’ll keep my current 90% time and then use our existing flexible benefit, which is equal to 3% of my pay, to fund a bit extra time to further reduce my working hours starting in 2016. The flexible account doesn’t require any additional approvals…I can just pick the option and be done with it. Three percent sounds like a tiny bit, but when you start to add up all the time I already don’t work I started to realize something important…I don’t work that much.
The math goes something like this. A standard 52 week year has about 260 potential working days (52 x 5 working days). Yet I also get 12 days of stat holidays a year, so that real total is now 248 working days. I currently get the following time off 4 weeks of vacation (20 days), 13 Banked Days off, and if I use the flexible benefit another 7.8 days or 40.8 days off when you add it up. Yet because I work 90% time, those totals get scaled down by 10% to 36.7 days off, but in exchange I get another 26 days off. Oh, I get another 3 family days a year that don’t scale on top of that. So grand total that works out to 36.7+26+3 or 65.7 days off. So out of the total working days of 248 in a year I’m not working about 26.5% of the time starting in 2016 or inverting the result I will only work 182.3 days next year. So out of total year of 365 days that means I only work about half the time (yes I love my workplace for time off…it was one of the major reasons I came to the company).
So bluntly, I came to realize I really don’t need to reduce hours any further since I already don’t really work that much. Instead I’ll keep up this nice coasting pace for the next year or two and just leave when I hit my savings target. Isn’t it funny how when you go looking for something, you come to realize how valuable what you already have is.