The work was interesting though and very well suited to my skillset so I asked to work a 30 hour week instead so I could do a little freelancing on the side and make up the difference.
6 months later I haven't started freelancing at all, and I simply enjoy the extra time I have to pursue other interests. The unexpected part though is that I am undeniably more productive than I've ever been while working less actual hours.
I definitely use some of the free time for thinking, but I think I also end up being vastly more efficient when I'm in work mode as well.
Company provides critical financial infrastructure in the US.
I play a lot of music to make up for it. The gigs don't pay as well as that other 10 hours a week would have paid, but breaking up my work into two separate fields is valuable to me.
Like, I'm on 10-4MF, and they give me a check every two weeks. They have some good will from me so if I have to put out a fire at 9pm and I can, I do it.
But I'm not a "full time" employee. If the responsibilities don't get met in the time allotted, they aren't going to get met. It's not like I get to work less if I figure out how to get my work done in less time... I don't see why I'd work more just cause they give me assignments that take more than 30 hours a week.
That said, I think employees also have a responsibility to push back on insane hours. If you're good at what you do, then you have far more leverage as a developer than just about any other type of employee.
European startups also tend to be more chill about working hours than American startups (I'm from SF so I've seen it all).