Jun 12, 2011

Part Time Working: Pros and Cons

If you have been able to secure an arrangement with your employer to work part-time: first of all, well done!  It’s often difficult to find a compromise between what you want and what your employer needs, but if you’ve managed it then you’ve joined the approximately nine million other part-time workers in the UK.

The positives of working part-time are obvious: you get a regular income, albeit reduced compared to what you once earned working full-time, together with the security of knowing that you are able to contribute to household bills and treats like holidays.  You also get to spend quality time with your children without being exhausted from working all week.  If your baby is young, any time apart will be hard and you’ll be glad to be able to be at home at least part of the time; when your child is a little older you will be able to enjoy things like picking them up from school.

However, you may have been so focused on arranging – and even arguing for – part-time hours that you haven’t paid much attention to the possible downsides of working part-time.   It’s a common experience amongst many working mums who are paid to work part-time hours that they end up squashing a full-time job into part-time hours and either being rushed off their feet at work, or forced to work at home on evenings and weekends to keep up with the paperwork. That’s why www.workingmums.co.uk is here to help working mums who seek flexible job opportunities from home. 

If you find that’s becoming a problem, keep a diary for a month of exactly what work you do, when, and if you find you’re doing considerably more work than you have paid hours in which to do it, then speak to your boss with the evidence in front of you.  Make sure that all your colleagues and your boss are aware of your hours and that when you are not at work you are not ‘working from home’, so you don’t expect phone calls or emails demanding a reply during your time at home.
Also, if you’re working part-time, you may still be working full-time at home: cooking, cleaning, washing – the fairies don’t do it, do they?  It leaves you with precious little ‘you time’ and you may need to set aside a time slot for yourself – even if just a couple of hours a week – for a little pampering.  Have a long soak with a book, you’ve earned it! 

If you live with your partner, highlight how much of your time is spent at work and how much is spent on tasks at home and see what can be worked out – what can he do to help.  I know, you shouldn’t have to ask this or point out what needs doing, but if the end result is that you have some help around then home then have that conversation!

Part-time working can give you the best of both worlds, or it can mean working two full-time jobs depending on how hard you put your foot down with those around you.   

This post brought you by Workingmums.co.uk


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