Monday, March 2, 2009

Take an extra week off (without pay)

What would you do with an extra - but unpaid - week off? 


Involuntary furloughs, once a cost-cutting measure seen mostly in manufacturing industries, are being utilized by a range of businesses.  

University systems, including North Carolina's, are contemplating it - as are state governments and, more frequently, newspapers. The Observer is considering the measure in an effort to trim expenses in 2009.  

Furloughs offer an obvious advantage to companies - a way to temporarily cut costs without weakening staffs with layoffs. Workers, too, usually prefer the prospect of an involuntary week off to the prospect of a harsher alternative. 

If you have an upcoming furlough, what do you plan to do with it? (If you don't face a furlough - what would you do if you did?) The Squeeze household, in contemplating the possibility, has calculated that an unpaid week is equivalent to a two percent pay cut, so it might not be cause for the vacation we've always wanted to take. 

The easy answer: Use the week off to tackle your checklist of around-the-house chores. Some, however, would like nothing less than to stew at home. A long but inexpensive drive might be the answer. 

Tell us your preference. A week of volunteering? An e-saver to visit parents/grandparents (who offer cheap lodging with their abundant love)? A week of sprucing up your yard - or your resume?  

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have no problem taking a week off unpaid as long as the CEO, CFO, COO, and Sr. Management take off a MONTH unpaid...That's the equal amount they share with us one week for every MONTH...IF they do it then I will. OTHERWISE HELLL NO...

Anonymous said...

Buy as much gold and silver I can get my hands on.

Anonymous said...

I would clean my house and get unneeded items to Goodwill.

Anonymous said...

Temp agency for a week's worth of work, start looking for a second shift/nights/weekend job since it sounds like you may be unemployed before too long. Better to be over-employed than under-employed at the moment!

Anonymous said...

Well, if you teach at Winthrop, you get 9 days of furlough but you can't take days off that will affect your classes or other duties. So, basically, you can't actually take the days off.

I guess on my days off, I'll just go to work like usual.

Molly Bloom said...

Temporary work is an excellent suggestion, 12:37. If I couldn't manage that, I'd take advantage of the time to work on low-cost home improvements or to volunteer in the schools or at a food bank.

JAT said...

Since you brought it up, Pete what are McClatchy's latest furlough plans?

JAT

pstonge said...

JAT,

Just what I wrote - the O is considering furloughs as a cost-trimming measure.

Thanks...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'd rather take a 2% annual pay cut and have continuous income for 52 weeks of the year, rather than zero income for one week. My creditors don't give me a furlough on when I can pay those bills--and think of the late fees you will incur. The credit card companies will love this! Also, once a company does it once, they will do it again and keep doing it. Furloughs are the new fad just taking the biz world by storm.

Anonymous said...

If you have to take a week off without pay at least you are getting something out of it. My salary was frozen this year and that's it. No extra days off to compensate me just "hey good work this year, no raise".

Check the math here but a 3% raise would work out to 62.4 hours given a 40 hour work week for 52 weeks. If they gave us a 2% raise and then had us take 62.4 hours of unpaid time I would have made the same amount of money so it wouldn't cost them any more but I'd have some time off.

Instead we're all just supposed to be happy we have a job.

Considering how many people don't there is something to that. So it goes in an employers market I suppose.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous @ 12:01: We can all agree that there are some greedy CEOs out there, but the majority of SR mgmt at smaller companies won't be taking a furlough with you because there is a good chance they will continue working with no pay so that the company can stay afloat and you can come back to your permanent job after a week off as opposed to being terminated. However, I'm sure you will return to work as ungrateful as when you left.

Anonymous said...

A week, Hell we have been on 30 hour reduced weeks since January 1st !!!!!!!!

I'd go hiking, mountain biking or skiing ........ wait, I wouldn't have the money to afford it. Guess I would just hang around the corner and rob someone.

Anonymous said...

I'd do my taxes. I get a refund this year!