Ask DN: How many hours a week do you work?

over 6 years ago from , Designer

We currently have the opportunity to approach our superiors about working less hours (Currently around the 50 mark).

The current hours we work as a studio are not very productive & often times I personally feel I can do the same amount of work in much less time. I've heard about the CEO of Treehouse setting a precedent whereby they work a 4 day week 9-6.

If you have any experience of working less hours whilst being more productive I'd love to hear it!


  • Vivian Guillen, over 6 years ago

    I only work 30 hours a week. Any more than that and I'm less productive.

    26 points
  • Aubrey JohnsonAubrey Johnson, over 6 years ago

    Being at work (for me anyway) is less important. How much I actually work is what I care about. I've been using RescueTime to figure it out


    It also allows me to stop behaviors I want to stop by either knowing I blew time or by using their blocker (rarely do this bc the blocker is REALLY annoying). There are probably a handful of tools that do this - this is the one someone rec'ed to me though.

    5 points
  • Mark FinnMark Finn, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    I'm 25, married and have a child and probably work 50-60 hour weeks between full time employment and freelancing.

    It works out as 35 hours a week full time, and freelancing over the other 7 days of the week (if you average it out it's about 3-4 hours a night freelancing - sometimes longer depending on the project).

    EDIT: (3 hours later) It's just dawned on me that i'm actually 24.

    3 points
  • Scott Burns, over 6 years ago

    37.5. I don't believe in 'putting in the extra hours' out with the time I'm paid to be at work, and thankfully my current agency have the same view. Obviously it still happens sometimes, which I'm ok with, but I'd never be happy being at a company where it was happening day in, day out.

    My free time is vitally important, and any business that expects you to give that up for free out of the goodness of your heart isn't worth it.

    3 points
  • Philip LesterPhilip Lester, over 6 years ago

    Spending about 40-45 hours per week myself. I agree w/some of the other commenters here that going beyond that generally does not result in more productivity.

    3 points
    • Brian A.Brian A., over 6 years ago

      I look at creativity as a finite resource. Some days I'm really jamming and have no problem knocking out stuff for 8+ hours. Some days I'm out of juice after 4-5 hours.

      4 points
  • Giovanni HobbinsGiovanni Hobbins, over 6 years ago

    ~50 hours a week for my job. 10-15 hours a week doing freelance gigs. Right around 65-70 hours a week total. But I'm unmarried, no family.

    3 points
    • Mo BaghdadiMo Baghdadi, over 6 years ago

      Unmarried? So you were married?

      1 point
    • Drew AlbinsonDrew Albinson, over 6 years ago

      This is the same for me, usually under 10 hours a week on freelance. I worked 60~ hours a week at my job for a while (for a designated 40) fought to build a habit of keeping to 45~50 and have gotten way more done. Hope to cut it closer to 40 soon.

      0 points
    • Jordan RomanoffJordan Romanoff, over 6 years ago

      These figures are pretty close to mine. I'm thinking about dropping the freelance work though, because I feel pretty burned out right now.

      0 points
  • Joe Blau, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    Job ~ 45-50

    Personal Research ~ 10-30 (depending on the week)

    2 points
  • Dave HawkinsDave Hawkins, over 6 years ago

    Would just like to mention that Treehouse has recently gone back to the 5 day work week.

    I work about 30, sometimes up to 45 though, and I pair design a lot in which case I feel a lot more productive than most, we are sat there directly on task almost the entire time and If i feel i'm flagging I can ask the other to drive and sit back to take stock.

    2 points
    • Devin FountainDevin Fountain, over 6 years ago

      I'm very interested in hearing more about the first part of this. I can recall watching a video where the CEO said that no one at Treehouse works 5 days a week and that working 4 days allowed the employees to do things on their day off that they normally need to.

      What was the reasoning behind the change back to 5?

      3 points
  • Account deleted over 6 years ago

    I generally work 8:30-5:00 now. I used to work a TON more in previous gigs. I'd say as a whole (off-hour emails, some weeks are more, etc), it's about 50 hours a week.

    What I find is that when the culture allows a more reasonable work schedule... the times you DO have to work insane hours for something important - it's clearly VERY important.

    I think the key to making this work though is having a company culture that supports it... and making sure those who work don't take advantage of it. If your superiors are the types that email you at 10pm or 2am about stuff... or are always in the office by 6am... it's not going to work. There will always be the pressure to "show face" and there will always be that expectation to work based on how they do.

    I have friends that brag about how awesome the work culture is in terms of hours the company allows you to wrk, but still spend too much time there because their boss does... or the fear is that if they are always the first to leave (even though they got there 2 hours before anyone else), they are looked at as a slacker.

    2 points
    • Abhijeet WankhadeAbhijeet Wankhade, over 6 years ago

      This is on point. I find that when the culture promotes the idea of "If you are staying back late then you work harder than anyone else" its just not good for anyone. There are other teams in my org which sort of are always on their toes because the boss spends most of his time in office and there are mails fired to everyone no matter what time of the day/night it is. Result of this is people count their 8/9 working hours constantly looking at the time remaining till they can punch out.

      1 point
  • Daniel BaldwinDaniel Baldwin, over 6 years ago

    The company I work for is leaning towards core hours. 12-2pm M-F, which will be used for meetings, collaboration, and retaining our relationships with each other. Outside of that window, we are trusted that we'll get our shit done on our "own time".

    Currently, we are given the flexibility to come in and out of the office as we please, but enforcing that we only HAVE to be available during this 2 hour time block will be a great switch.

    I currently struggle with productivity when working more than 5 hours/day. However, I manage freelance work outside of my day job. Having this flexibility will allow me to take breaks when my productivity level dips and pick back up again when it peaks.

    1 point
    • Kat ☺, over 6 years ago

      That sounds like a really interesting system. It might not work for every workplace, but it does seem something that'd be really helpful for the kind of situations you mention - not everyone is always productive at exact hours.

      0 points
    • Andy Warburton, over 6 years ago

      12-2pm? Isn't that like... Lunch time? Seems like a weird time to schedule meetings.

      1 point
      • Daniel BaldwinDaniel Baldwin, over 6 years ago

        We have teams in London, Dubai, Brazil, and NYC, so finding a block of time that fits everyone's schedule is a bit tough!

        0 points
  • Marcus H, over 6 years ago

    I start work about 10am and stop around 6pm, I bill about 20-25 hours a week. So I'm doing work for about 40 hours a week but I guess only 20-25 of those hours are productive.

    I'm a freelancer UI designer btw

    1 point
    • Reece ButlerReece Butler, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

      Since you mentioned that you are freelance. Of the time working that is not billable, how much of the remaining time do you spend on things like admin and marketing a week?

      0 points
      • Marcus H, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

        Maybe like 2 hours :)

        Some of the non billable time will also be communication because I work with 2 agencies and I don't bill for the small talk.

        And yes I'm a freelancer!

        0 points
        • Reece ButlerReece Butler, over 6 years ago

          Makes sense. Similar to how I operate.

          0 points
          • Marcus H, over 6 years ago

            If I had to work some of the numbers other people are putting up I'd probably burn out quickly and quit :)

            0 points
            • Reece ButlerReece Butler, over 6 years ago

              I know that feeling.

              Did long hours for a few years and it nearly sent me to the hospital. Some of the numbers seem unsustainable for more than a couple of years.

              In saying that, I'm probably guilty of doing far fewer hours now than I probably should be. ; )

              0 points
  • Dave CDave C, over 6 years ago

    At this moment I'm working about 40h a week with no schedule. I´m working for objectives and for me it's the best way to be motivated and be productive.

    0 points
  • Joaquin LluisJoaquin Lluis, over 6 years ago

    I think almost 72 hours per week. I dont know if I'm 100% productive all the time, its almost like 10 hours of work per day.

    0 points
  • Jovana AndjelkovicJovana Andjelkovic, over 6 years ago

    I'd say about 50h/week, but I wouldn't say that all of them are 100% productive.

    0 points
  • Roman HorokhovatskyyRoman Horokhovatskyy, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    Interesting topic

    0 points
  • Taylor Johnson, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    I work 35 hours a week on average. 20 of those are just on one of our dating websites, http://www.latterdatingsaints.com But that's because there is so much involved to just keep it up and running.

    The most important thing is to learn how to manage your time online when you work. It's easy to research too much and not work enough from my experience.

    0 points
  • Julie RobertsJulie Roberts, over 6 years ago

    8-5 (40hr/week, 1hr lunch)

    I'm an in-house graphic designer at the corporate office and while we have the occasional 4pm Fridays (my favorite!) and are flexible on an individual level for drs appts, etc 90% of the time someone is available during office hours. I think part of it is so we're available consistent hours for our various locations to contact us and part of it because we share an office with an accounting firm with these hours (In the summer, they have modified Friday hours and we do not. Then again, we don't work Saturdays during tax season.).

    0 points
  • Lucian .esLucian .es, over 6 years ago


    You will be amazed how manny hours you ACTUALLY work per week. I usually try the 4h work week (:

    Best, www.lucian.es

    0 points
  • Gareth LewisGareth Lewis, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    It evens out to 37.5 hours a week. Some weeks I may work a bit more, but we can "bank" hours, so some other days I will go home early. I tend to like working on side projects for myself (not paid) so I might do an extra few hours a week on that during some evenings. I have a little daughter so a lot of my spare time I spend with her and my wife. Work/Life balance is important.

    0 points
  • Bevan StephensBevan Stephens, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    40 I have a family.

    0 points
  • Jenny G.Jenny G., over 6 years ago

    Hey, nice approach. I hope it will work out for you. I'm working in a huge company in Germany and we have a strong labour union. Therefor we have a weekly working time of 35 hours and also a system of wages. All in all it is really transparent for everyone. Weekly working hours can only be increased temporarily to 38h or 40h for 3 months, maximum 6 months a year. But only a small percentage of the employees can do these extra hours. If we are working overtime I have to take time off - maximum 4 days per month, if I remember correctly. There is also a warning sytem if employees have more than 30 over hours and a stop at 60 over hours, where there are "forced" to take time off. Coming from an agency prior to that position at the huge company I was sometimes even working on the weekends. Personally I can say that the 35h week is much better now - I am way more productive, motivated and also more creative. So I end up being much more satisfied with my outcome at work and also with my private life. More time for sports, relaxing and most important: time with friends. So I can stronly recommend to try out limiting the working hours per week, but this is a personal perspective. Some colleagues do side projects like renovating a house on their own or doing other creative work. They really enjoy the freedom they have with the 35h week. And people are so satisfied that most of them stay really long in the company - some even celebrate their 25th anniversary at the company.

    I wish you good luck and hope it works out for you.

    0 points
  • Tork MattTork Matt, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    60-65 hours a week for my job and 10-15 hours a week for freelance projects

    0 points
  • Greg BowenGreg Bowen, over 6 years ago

    On client work, about 30. On personal projects? About 30.

    0 points
  • Kat ☺, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    I work about 32+ hours a week. I get in about 9:30, and leave at 5, with an hour lunch break each day (i never take a full hour though?!). That's just in-office though - I work from home occasionally and am always checking emails/slack to stay on top of things.

    Having said that, not 100% of people's at-work time is actually working. We have table tennis and foosball (hello startup vibe), and a pretty nice view out on the balcony. People need time out from their work to decompress so when they are head-down working, they're really putting in 100%.

    The workplace is pretty flexible with work hours and working remotely, too. As long as you get your work done, they're fairly accomodating. It creates a trusting and comfortable atmosphere where everyone is giving their all because they feel cared for.

    0 points
  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 6 years ago

    Between 40 and 60 - really depends on deadlines. Sole designer at a quickly growing company. Print, UI, UX, some marketing, copywriting, little bit of product design, video editing, etc. You get resourceful though :)

    Setting up flexible systems to allow us to quickly spin off new product sites, helping out marketing to keep their work looking good and UX-wise solid, working with stakeholders to create products that make sense and work well... there are just a lot of places where you can run into tight deadlines when you're "all over the place" like that.

    0 points
  • Eytan DavidovitsEytan Davidovits, over 6 years ago

    We work about 40 hours per week when we are light on releases, probably closer to 50 when we are preparing for a release.

    IBM does "Summer Hours" where we work 9am-6pm Mon-Thurs and then we leave at 1pm on Fridays. Fridays were reserved for our presentations, file cleanup and then we leave or do some team activity. Definitely nice, but not for everyone. For the commuters, leaving the office at 6 (or 6:30) means you're not home before 7:30/8 and everything (besides restaurants) are closed.

    0 points
  • jj moijj moi, over 6 years ago


    0 points
  • Mike BusbyMike Busby, over 6 years ago

    CDO in an early stage fintech company.

    45-50 hours regular - 60-70 when meeting tight deadlines. Very draining but the companies stage and team size require it so that we can grow.

    0 points
  • Zach HubbardZach Hubbard, over 6 years ago

    I work a 9-80 schedule. So, for the first week, M-Th is a 9 hour day. Friday is an 8-hour day. For the second week, it's a M-Th 9-hour day, and Friday is off. I love it, since you can feel so refreshed during that 3-day weekend and I frequently just go camping.

    We also have flexible schedules, so if I know I want to take a Thursday off, I just work with my manager and I'll come in on a Sunday/whenever to work.

    20-30 hours of my week is actually designing, the rest of the time is split between research, self-improvement, etc. Some weeks we go over 40, but that's the way it goes with a demanding client and tight deadlines.

    0 points
  • Shina Memud, over 6 years ago

    This depends if you're in cooperative or freelancing.

    For me, working as a contractor makes my working hours vary ... more like long day/week and short day/week but giving it an average of ~50hrs if I put it together in a month

    0 points
  • Mike RundleMike Rundle, over 6 years ago

    I work between 9:30a and 5p, then will get back on and do work sometimes from 10p-12a, or 11:30p-2a. Weekends it's usually just night time work. So around 9-11 hours Monday through Friday, then 1-3 hours each night on the weekend. Minimum hours a week I'd say is around 55, maximum is 70+.

    0 points
  • Lee Campbell, over 6 years ago

    Unfortunately at my current gig I'm sitting no less than 55hrs a week sometimes 60-70. Get in at 8 leave at 6:30 then work a few hours every evening at home. It's draining but I guess you do what you have to when you're starting in a field.

    0 points
    • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

      Shouldn't be the norm.

      Advertising agencies are notorious for long hours, this is perpetuated by bad management and not knowing when to say 'no' to a client.

      There are two types of teams in agencies; the ones that work all hours with little or notice and ones that have more constant working hours. The former always burn out, have high turn over of staff, low morale and produce rushed work. The former are happier, have better working relationships and produce better, more considered work.

      There are only so many hours in a day, just because time is mismanaged by project leads doesn't mean that you should suffer.

      5 points
  • Brian A.Brian A., over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    8:30–4:30/5:00 Monday through Friday. Things will occasionally pop up that warrant putting in extra hours, but those are pretty rare; 45-50 hour weeks are the exception rather than the rule for me.

    0 points
    • James LaneJames Lane, over 6 years ago

      +1 for me here. Arrive anytime up to 10am as long as I do the hours for that day. Very flexible.

      0 points
  • Wyatt CampizWyatt Campiz, over 6 years ago

    Currently, 8:00-4:30 Monday-Friday. However, our office is starting to pilot a 4-day workweek. My schedule would be 7:00-5:30 for 4 days, plus a day off.

    0 points
  • James Young, over 6 years ago

    About 35.

    9-9:30 ish - 16:30

    0 points
  • Luke Whitehouse, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    Currently 8:00-4:30 Monday-Friday :)

    0 points
  • Alejandro DorantesAlejandro Dorantes, over 6 years ago

    I work around 20 hr/ week. But that's just how I manage my time.

    0 points
  • Diederik EenschootenDiederik Eenschooten, over 6 years ago

    According to my contract I work from 09:00 till 18:00. (on a 40 hour contract). But I usually start at 8:45 till 17: 30 - ish with 15 to 30 minutes break

    0 points