I negotiated a 4 day weekend so I could spend time on my side project (preventalemon.com) and enjoy life more.
I was working full time and had only been here for about 4-5 months. I brought the idea to my boss and at first he wasn't having it. However, I think it worked out because I made it clear that I wasn't in a rush to make the change, and that I wouldn't sacrifice my quality of work or my commitment to the company. I just let the idea sit for a couple months, and then brought it up again and he was much more open to it.
It's been a couple months now and it's working really well. The key is that I'm here 3 days in a row every week. We have a team meeting every Wednesday and a company-wide lunch on Thursday, so it was important to be involved in both of those so I remained a part of the collective team.
I get just as much done in 3 days as I did in 5, and it costs my company 40% less (I have less time to browse DEV though!). My side project has also grown significantly, so I think it's been a win/win. My dogs like having me home too :)
I'm a big believer in going beyond work life balance and actually de-emphasizing work all together. Why delay your happiness until retirement when you could be enjoying life now? That said, I recognize that I'm in a place of privilege that I can make this work financially.
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