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There's an exception to the 40 hour week called comp time. You get paid for excess hours by being given paid time off.

The 40 hour week is already legislated. If you work over 40 you are supposed to get overtime. Overtime needs to be requested, though - that's an important point. If you're going over 40 you're supposed to tell your boss to get permission, and the boss is supposed to say, "nah, go home."

I know it doesn't work that way.

>>I know it doesn't work that way.

Its because as programmers we never work 40 hours productively. Quite a but of our time goes in procrastinating, reading stuff on sites like HN, Facebooking etc. There fore there is almost an untold understanding that 40 hours is not to be taken literally.

Please speak for yourself. I don't procrastinate. Most days I don't even check my personal email at work. Maybe I should, because despite not procrastinating I'm still pretty much forced to be 50 or 60 hours a week in the office.

At the same time, we require an inordinate amount of "back of mind" processing time in order to perform so much problem solving.

In other words, "the code's compiling" explanation for idling covers the linking up of modules in the code and in our brains' mental models of it.

Well, the article quotes research saying that knowledge workers only have six good hours in them. They need to fill the rest of the time somehow to not go insane.

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