Getting 51 free days more on your agenda

November 30, 2019

During this past summer I negotiated new contract conditions, just before the end of my probation period:

moving from full time (5 days) to a 3-day workweek while keeping the same salary.

It took about 2 months but at the end we settled on a 4-day workweek deal.

But first, how many days do we work?

If you open your agenda, and you work 5 days a week, you will find that around 221 days are already booked for something.

221 days is the number of working days for an employee of a Berlin based company after you remove vacation days (251 days/year minus 30 days of vacations, in my case).

Translated in a percentage is about 60.54% of the year, which is quite a lot.

What a 4-day workweek means

A 4-day workweek turns out to be about 200 working days, ~51 days less than working full time, 1 month and 21 days more just for you.

To complete the count I can remove from the 200 days my vacations, and I get 170 days, ~46.5% of the year.

I can hardly describe the nice feeling of getting the majority of your time back.

What I plan to do with those 51 days

Good question.

I plan to leverage those days to get closer to the life I want to have, spending more time on the things that I like and less on the things that I don't.

Combined with the fact that PyConDE & PyData Berlin 2019 is over I now have tons of free time.

So what am I up to?

  • launching a training/consulting business with a focus on devops/infrastructure
  • spending part of the winter away from Berlin
  • learning new stuff
  • running a couple of customer development interviews to create a SaaS business

My master plan is, by the end of 2020, to run a business between 5K € and 30K € in MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) without getting crazy (like the amazing founders of HoneyBadger).

Ok, stop rambling, how do I get a 4-day workweek deal?

So time for serious stuff!

First, having a 4-day workweek is much more common than what you probably think.

To be honest there are different ways:

  • Negotiating a new deal with your employer
  • Trainings/freelancing/consulting
  • Running your own company
  • ...

I'll cover negotiating a new deal with your employer in one of my next blog posts.

tl;dr having the right mindset and approaching the negotiation from the right perspective are both crucial.

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