fbpx
3 min read

The shift in perception of part-time and flexible workers

This is a new era of part-time and flexible workers - one where their outcome-driven, self-managing approach is celebrated.
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook

The context

Most professionals transition to part-time work because they need to juggle other responsibilities and commitments. 

Traditionally, ‘part-time’ work in the UK was associated with sectors such as hospitality where shift patterns are common. There was equally a misconception that part-time opportunities were only available for those who were willing to somewhat compromise on their career trajectory. 

This in turn led to the perception that part-time or flexible work wasn’t an option in other industries – especially those where the majority of employees were based in an office. The 9-5 routine became more and more embedded and it is only in light of the pandemic that professionals began to challenge these outdated expectations.

So, what does part-time really mean?

A part-time employee’s hours can range from anywhere between 1 to 30 hours a week, and the reasons for an employee wanting to work part-time can range from childcare to establishing a portfolio career – which is common in the CFO community.

Part-time employees should have access to the same rights and be treated as well as other employees – professionals don’t have to work a minimum number of hours to qualify for employment rights

The opportunities 

As we emerge from the pandemic which led to thousands of job losses and disproportionately affected women, flexible and part-time work is a great option for businesses who are just starting to recover. 

One of the silver linings from last year is businesses understanding that they don’t need to enforce a ‘one size fits all’ approach and we can all afford to be a little more flexible without it impacting the bottom line. As businesses start to realise that employees can be treated like adults and productivity increases when staff can define their own hours, there has been a positive shift in attitude towards part-time workers. All industries from investment banking to hospitality need to offer different types of contracts that can cater to a variety of circumstances. If businesses do require a full time resource then they can also look into options such as job sharing – hiring two employees to split the week in a way that makes the most sense for all parties. 

Part-time workers can no longer be accused of being less committed to their career, and a recent HBR study demonstrated that successful part-timers had a greater ability to squeeze more work into less time, “We probably get as much productivity out of our part-time professionals as we do from some of the employees who are here five days a week.” – Manager from a HBR study.

During the past few years and particularly during the pandemic the market has seen a significant shift towards part-time and flexible work – according to Statista there were just under 9 million part-time workers in the UK in 2020, up from just over 8 million in 2015. 

Flexperts

In our most recent blog we introduced the concept of the ‘flexpert’, a highly autonomous expert in their field who literally juggles multiple jobs and has a breadth of experience.

This is a new era of part-time and flexible workers – one where their outcome-driven, self-managing approach is celebrated and we want to see this community continue to grow. 

Our founder & CEO, Romanie’s advice to any professionals considering juggling multiple jobs is to seize the opportunity and go for it – “It allows you to diversify your experience, define your own hours and get excited about the fact that no two days will look the same”.

Many of our professionals juggle jobs and offer multiple organisations value for 1-2 days a week. Flexperts generally work on a self-employed basis and “juggle” their plural lives – whether that be additional employment, personal time, or family commitments. They abide by nothing more than their value and capability to do the job and they aren’t required to be in an office in London from 9-5. This way of working in turn reduces ageism and positively impacts D&I because as a business, you’re hiring for meritocracy, expertise and skill set.

“Juggle was a refreshing change for me. It was a pleasant surprise to find a range of exciting companies who were embracing flexible working and understood the value this could deliver to both the business and the professional“.

– Alexandra Lord, Flexpert & CFO, Gophr

Sign up to Juggle for free today to hire your flexpert!

Mya Ramanan
2 min read
“Mike is such an experienced candidate that he achieves more in 4 days than a more junior candidate would achieve in 5” - Joe Perkins, CEO, Landscape
2 min read
Beryl was founded in 2012 with the vision of becoming world leaders in urban cycling technology.

Get Modern Leadership delivered

Practical insights into careers and the future of work