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Heterodyne working weeks

Makes getting appointments easier
  [vote for,

So you know how the time you're free to do stuff is just the time when things are mostly shut, more expensive, or hard to book?
That's because at the moment everyone wants to take their weekend holidays at the same point - Saturday or Sunday or possibly both. So your (for example) dentist wants to take some time off just when you'd prefer to make an appointment, and instead you need to take a day off work.

There's no pressing need for this synchronicity over the entire population. Suppose we split the population into two. One group could go on as before, with the familiar 5 days on, 2 days off cycle.
The other would instead be on a 4 day week, of approximately 3 days on, 1 day off cycle. (There is also has an additional holiday in this cycle to make it fair.)

This means that there is a 28-day cycle during which both groups experience 8 holidays. How does this look? For your convenience I've prepared this handy chart:

ab ,ab*,__ ,__ ,_b ,__ ,__
a_ ,ab ,__ ,__ ,__ ,_b ,__
a_ ,a_ ,_b ,__ ,__ ,__ ,_b
a_ ,a_ ,__ ,_b ,__ ,__ ,__

Where 'a' is a holiday for the 7-day week group, and 'b' is a holiday for the 4-day-week group. The additional holiday in the second group is marked with an asterisk ('*') - it gives both groups an overlapping two-day holiday, and marks a point where both groups are mostly off work. There are only 3 days in the 28-day cycle where everyone is on holiday, instead of the current 8. More importantly, when one wishes to make an elective appointment, the other group will still be available on one of your holidays. You want a delivery? Get it on your day off.

What this would mean in practice is that if you have a job, you'd be in one cycle or the other. If you wanted to swap, this could most easily be done at the start of a cycle.Organisations which only need to provide a service /most/ days would have basically no trouble, even if they're fairly small. Even organisations which need to provide a full-time service would experience significantly less difficulty arranging cover, because there are less than half as many awkward days.

Loris, Jan 24 2022


       My job is a 9-80 schedule. 9 hour days for 4 days, 9 hour days for 4 days the next week, and one 8 hur day. Every other Friday off.
RayfordSteele, Jan 24 2022

       Fly-in/fly-out mining offers this sort of thing; when you're at the mine, you work, eat and sleep, only, but, when you're not at the mine, you get nice big chunks of leisure.
pertinax, Jan 24 2022

       The rock wool company my brother works for has three twelve hour day shifts, three days off, then three twelve hour night shifts. Rinse. Repeat.   

       My wife works the same, every second Friday off, nine hour day thing.   

       I just work. I'm on call 24/7-ish. I try to take Sundays off now. Sometimes Murphy lets me.   

       Isn't Sweden or somewhere in that area switching to four day work weeks?   

       I thought Stalin tried this with the Soviet peasants. They all took their mandated Soviet days off but they also all downed tools on Sunday as well.   

       I have said before but I'll say it again. The days of the week are probably the oldest continually-running Human institution. Humans have never missed or added a single day to this 7 day rolling cycle since civilisation was invented and probably long before that. They are also the oldest religion, each day being sacred and dedicated to a different deity.
pocmloc, Jan 24 2022

       So I think I can sum up the comments as everyone apart from pocmloc thinks it's a great idea, right?   

       I'll tell you what pocmloc, this system gives us additional units which we can confer arbitrary religious names on if it makes you happy.   

       The 7-day weeks of the cycle could be:
Christweek, Islamweek, Hinduweek and Buddaweek.

       The 4-day 'quads' of the cycle could be:
Sikhquad, Jainquad, Judequad, Taoquad, Wiccaquad, Voodooquad and Tetraspaghetti.

       These would obviously get shortened fairly quickly to something like:
Cryweek, Isweek, Hindweek and Budweek, and
Sicwad, Jayquad, Jewquad, Taowad, Wiquad, Voodwad and Spagbol. Or something.

       Or, you know, whatever. No-one cares about why days have names in anything but an academic sense.
Loris, Jan 24 2022

       I never said I didn't think it wasn't a great idea.   

       //No-one cares// Ah now we're getting somewhere.
pocmloc, Jan 24 2022

       But you've got to admit that I said you said it was.
Loris, Jan 24 2022

       Rotational shiftwork sucks and is deliberately designed to suck. Imagine trying to keep your head about you working days then switching to nights and back again. Imagine trying to raise a family in that kind of chaos.
RayfordSteele, Jan 24 2022

       Yes. Unfortunately this idea does nothing for the night shift.
Loris, Jan 24 2022

       //Rotational shiftwork sucks and is deliberately designed to suck. Imagine trying to keep your head about you working days then switching to nights and back again.//   

Not sure how my brother puts up with it, he has no kids and has saved up a down payment on property over the years but the bank won't look at him for a mortgage until he's stuck out a 'real' job for a year or so.

       I understand preferring night shifts, but swing-shift just slowly suck your will to live. It pays relatively well though for as long as you can stick it out.   

       Looking at the 28-day supercycle (perhaps we could call it a 'moon') again, it could be tweaked in some minor respects to improve some features. As initially given, the 4-day cycle has a two-day weekend immediately followed by a shortened working cycle. It might be better to move the shorter quad into the middle of the supercycle. If we bumped two quad holidays on to the next day, it would space out these holidays a bit better, and also reduce the number of holidays shared by both groups:   

ab ,ab*,__ ,__ ,__ ,_b ,__
a_ ,a_ ,_b ,__ ,__ ,_b ,__
a_ ,a_ ,_b ,__ ,__ ,__ ,_b
a_ ,a_ ,__ ,_b ,__ ,__ ,__

       Only two shared holidays; most services would be readily accessible to everyone, and only a quarter of the current weekend cover hassle for emergency work. I think having at least some crossover is important for socialising with people on the other schedule, so I don't propose taking it to zero.
It's a bit less elegant in the sense that either the quads don't line up with holidays neatly, or they're not all the same length. I don't know if this change would be better or not, to be honest.
Loris, Jan 25 2022


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