Re: Would you prefer a 4 day week?
Is this typical for the whole branch or would your company's competitors offer better working conditions? If they did, I'd consider changing to them. They might be happy to get you (with your insider knowledge about their "opponents").
What kind of programming do you do? OS, applications, games, boards, robot/automat programming, tailored software for customers?
I've checked with headhunters. It's become the standard. Projects have to be completed on time, no matter how many of us there are. To fail to do so reflects poorly on annual evaluations. Which are used to determine raises and who is first in line when more cuts become necessary. If you're not a 'team player' they don't need you on the team.
"They have to help the viewers let go. Firefly did a movie to wrap things up. Buffy the Vampire Slayer continued on as a comic book. Heroes gradually lowered the quality season by season until we were grateful it ended.” - Sheldon Cooper