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My $0.02.

I've been working a 4 day/week schedule for 1.5 years now. Initially, I took the time off to lead a nonprofit volunteering project but quickly got burned out (4 days work, 1.5~2 days nonprofit work = 5.5~6 days/week). I've since reallocated the extra day to hobbies and am quite happy with the setup. As I've explicitly taken an independent contributor role at work, I feel no need to be 100% available, and my colleagues respect that.

Overall, I'm very happy with my current schedule and will fight tooth and nail to keep it. If you can afford it and have the drive to do something with your extra free time, I highly recommend it.

How did that conversation go with your manager when you first wanted to reduce your hours?

I had a similar conversation about 8 years ago, moving from 5 days to 4 days.

My boss at the time wasn't too happy with the proposal, and suggested it might just be easier for them to replace me with someone who wanted to put the full effort expected in.

Typical response is never "awesome, let's do that" because... why should they? They'd prefer you to work 5 days a week. So they'll push back.

But, as an existing employee you're valuable: you know a lot of things that take a lot of effort for new employee to learn. And so quite often the answer is just "yes", or stalling but "fine, ok, yes" if you push at it.

Of course, some places the managers have no respect at all for employees or understanding of your value. You probably don't want to work those places at all, and if you do this won't work.

If you want a detailed howto, I wrote a book about it: https://codewithoutrules.com/3dayweekend/

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