For many people, the idea of working part-time is overlooked. Most of us spend one-third of our lives at work, that’s around 90,000 hours in a lifetime.
Data collected by the Office for National Statistics shows only 25% of working-age people in the UK worked part-time in 2019.
Full-time Monday to Friday schedules are so normalised, that there’s often a stigma attached to part-time work, where people view it as a compromise.
Employers have a role to play in moving away from this stigma. In the Timewise Flexible Job Index for 2020, only 22% of jobs were advertised as flexible. A study by the Institute for Employment Studies shows only 8% of roles were advertised as part-time.
As a part-time worker myself, I’m thankful that my workplace, Tahora, offers me the flexibility and work-life balance that I love.
When I graduated four months ago, I didn’t plan on getting a part-time role, but it’s definitely been a positive experience for me. More importantly, it allowed me to transition into the world of work.
I now feel more confident in myself and with being in the workplace, which for many young people can be daunting.
There are so many wonderful benefits to working part-time which you may not have even considered:
- Employee relationships: I couldn’t agree more with ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’. Working fewer days and hours than a typical working week means that I look forward to the days where I get to catch up with my colleagues. I cherish the times when we’re all together.
I enjoy being able to update each other on things outside of work and it can help to form closer bonds with your team when you aren’t there every single day. Using the Tahora app bridges the gap between me and my colleagues who work full-time. I feel connected even on the days I’m not in the office.
- Work-life balance: Having a flexible schedule allows me to do great work, but also to have enough time and energy for my life outside of work.
- Reduced stress and improved health: I feel less time-pressured, healthier, happier, well-rested and more productive with my days.
- Flexibility and more free time: Having extra time on my hands means I can take on things I don’t usually have the time to do, whether it’s fitting in a regular gym routine, babysitting, baking, spending time with family or just relaxing. It's nice to feel in control of my life.
- Open doors for new opportunities: Working part-time has allowed me to gain experience in a field I was unfamiliar with, whilst being open to getting stuck in with any opportunities that come my way. It has also allowed me to develop my skills and learn new ones in the process.
- Saving money: Whilst it may be counterintuitive, working part-time can actually help with saving money. Less time working doesn’t just cut down on travel costs, it often leaves me with more time and energy to meal plan, cook and reflect on what I actually value – I now find I’m making less impulsive purchases.
Just like full-time work, there are times when working part-time can prove challenging. But, there are steps you can take to help manage any potential problems.
- Communication: Making sure there’s effective communication between your whole team helps keep everyone in the loop and included – this can be through regular team calls or making information available through an online space.
When there are multiple part-time employees, it’s also helpful to have extra communication in place where you agree on how responsibilities are shared to avoid duplicate work and just generally to help each other out when needed.
- Planning ahead: At times your responsibilities can become confusing, especially in a fast-paced environment. The task you started last week could be completed by someone else when you return to work the next week.
By taking some time out at the beginning of your days to think ahead and get a clearer understanding of your deadlines, you’ll be better prepared for what’s ahead. You may find that creating a schedule for yourself or actively collaborating with others can help you keep on top of your tasks.
- The start of each week can feel like the end of a holiday: Whilst working part-time allows you to be flexible with your week, it’s important to give yourself a structured work pattern to help yourself get into a routine. This can help make your time at work more productive and make you feel more energised and ready for your working week.
Being a part-time employee can be lonely. Having strong communication with your team and encouraging connections that go beyond the office can really help. You may be working part-time, but you’re a member of the team full-time.
What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another, so whether you work part-time or full-time, make sure it’s the right choice for you. And, make sure that your employer keeps you in the loop and makes you feel as valued as the full-time employees.