Part time work

Pladio

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So, I had my second child in September last year. When I say I, I actually mean my wife did the hard work.

But now I'm taking 3 months off to spend more time at home with my son and also my firstborn who is in nursery 3 days a week.

I have been thinking of going back part time 4 days a week when I do return to work in September.

I was wondering if anyone here works or has worked part time? Any good or bad experiences and would you have any advice?
 

Redglyph

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Would that be temporary or indefinitely?

I haven't tried it but I've had colleagues who did. I've noticed that in a small company it's often more complicated, because there's a quota beyond which it can be refused (or must be refused, I'm not sure), though it's country-specific. That limitation with other potential candidates, and the fact people are more difficult to back up in small companies tended to put some social pressure on those 4/5 people.

I've seen that in a bigger company too, and it was much more easily accepted by others.

"accepted" is a strong word, but you see what I mean, funny comments here and there, people are still calling you when you're not working because they're stuck, and so on. I only saw that in one out of 2 small companies I worked at, and their organization was not very good, which explains the pressure (I had to work during weekends and cancel holidays many times for years, to give an idea). So it all depends on your relationship with other colleagues and the general organization / level of pressure.

Then there's the potential financial impact on holidays, bonuses and pension, but that's very specific to the country again. Since it's usually limited in time, it's not a big impact anyway, but if it's indefinite, it's worth quantifying.
 

wolfgrimdark

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As Red said really depends on job, co-workers, situation. I am also debating going to 4 days a week. But I have been at my job for 32 to years and plan on retiring early - somewhere between 59.5 and 62.5 (next spring 2023 I will be 59.5).

I have the option to reduce to 80% time and still keep benefits. If I wait till 59.5 years I can do a 3 year retirement transition and work 50% but keep benefits ... which is pretty sweet.

People don't want me to go which gives me some advantage as there is less resentment issues by working 4 or 2.5 days by other staff. Most of our staff are pretty cool though as we have had a few folks over the last couple decades who only worked 80% and no one complained.

I am salary, however, which blurs the lines somewhat and would probably still have to deal with out of office work and emails, especially considering my experience and institutional knowledge as the place I work has lost hundreds of people in the last 3 years due to COVID impacts and early retirement incentives (I wasn't old enough for).

So need to consider how co-workers might react (at least I wouldn't want to work with co-workers that resented me or felt I wasn't pulling weight), benefits, expectations from your boss, and so on.

On my end I am planning on getting out early anyhow but it would leave my office in a bad way so I agreed to hold off in return for some possible reduced time and flexibility.

So another impact is how valuable are you to your company/place of work.
 

Myrthos

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I have no plans at the moment to work less, but it isn't difficult in my company to start working 4 days a week instead of 5. A lot of people do it already.
There is also an arrangement named 80-85-100, where from the age of 60 onwards, you can work for 80%, keep 85% of your salary and still have a pension, when retired, as if you worked 100%. The official age when my pension would start is at 67.
I will turn 60 in December, but I don't know if and when I would choose that option.

I work at a big company, so what coworkers think about someone working less isn't part of the picture really.
 

Carnifex

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I've been retired for almost twenty years now due to disability, though in the past few years I've gone back and done some education things that had always irked me that I'd not completed, notably a masters in history and now a few credits towards a phd. I've considered coming off the bench and seeing what I could find work-wise that would permit me to work from home in some historic manner, yet for now I think I might keep plucking along and progress with a few more classes.
 

Pladio

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Thanks for the responses.

Would that be temporary or indefinitely?

I haven't tried it but I've had colleagues who did. I've noticed that in a small company it's often more complicated, because there's a quota beyond which it can be refused (or must be refused, I'm not sure), though it's country-specific. That limitation with other potential candidates, and the fact people are more difficult to back up in small companies tended to put some social pressure on those 4/5 people.

I've seen that in a bigger company too, and it was much more easily accepted by others.

"accepted" is a strong word, but you see what I mean, funny comments here and there, people are still calling you when you're not working because they're stuck, and so on. I only saw that in one out of 2 small companies I worked at, and their organization was not very good, which explains the pressure (I had to work during weekends and cancel holidays many times for years, to give an idea). So it all depends on your relationship with other colleagues and the general organization / level of pressure.

Then there's the potential financial impact on holidays, bonuses and pension, but that's very specific to the country again. Since it's usually limited in time, it's not a big impact anyway, but if it's indefinite, it's worth quantifying.

Luckily in my place of work a lot of people have worked part-time in the past (incl. my current boss) and/or doing so today. So it's not unusual. There's also a massive push for metal wellbeing and better work/life practice including only having to go into work 1 day/week over every quarter. Although I go in once a week.

The financial impact is big as I'd lose 20% of my salary, but I was asking myself why am I working ? And the answer is to be able to spend time with my family and enjoy life with them. So why am I spending 5 days a week without spending time with them ?

Whether it would be forever or not, I do not know. I guess it depends if I like it or not.

As Red said really depends on job, co-workers, situation. I am also debating going to 4 days a week. But I have been at my job for 32 to years and plan on retiring early - somewhere between 59.5 and 62.5 (next spring 2023 I will be 59.5).

I have the option to reduce to 80% time and still keep benefits. If I wait till 59.5 years I can do a 3 year retirement transition and work 50% but keep benefits … which is pretty sweet.

People don't want me to go which gives me some advantage as there is less resentment issues by working 4 or 2.5 days by other staff. Most of our staff are pretty cool though as we have had a few folks over the last couple decades who only worked 80% and no one complained.

I am salary, however, which blurs the lines somewhat and would probably still have to deal with out of office work and emails, especially considering my experience and institutional knowledge as the place I work has lost hundreds of people in the last 3 years due to COVID impacts and early retirement incentives (I wasn't old enough for).

So need to consider how co-workers might react (at least I wouldn't want to work with co-workers that resented me or felt I wasn't pulling weight), benefits, expectations from your boss, and so on.

On my end I am planning on getting out early anyhow but it would leave my office in a bad way so I agreed to hold off in return for some possible reduced time and flexibility.

So another impact is how valuable are you to your company/place of work.

Big company - i.e. multinational with 100k employees. I'm just a cog in the machine, but I do my job well and I am generally recognised for doing so. Lights won't go out without me though :D

I have no plans at the moment to work less, but it isn't difficult in my company to start working 4 days a week instead of 5. A lot of people do it already.
There is also an arrangement named 80-85-100, where from the age of 60 onwards, you can work for 80%, keep 85% of your salary and still have a pension, when retired, as if you worked 100%. The official age when my pension would start is at 67.
I will turn 60 in December, but I don't know if and when I would choose that option.

I work at a big company, so what coworkers think about someone working less isn't part of the picture really.

Well, hope you plan a big party - especially with the free time you'll get in the post-Watch world :p

I think the idea of 80-85-100 is really good. It helps with not having to lose too much on salary, yet it give you some time back. Maybe I can try negotiating not losing 20% ? :D

I've been retired for almost twenty years now due to disability, though in the past few years I've gone back and done some education things that had always irked me that I'd not completed, notably a masters in history and now a few credits towards a phd. I've considered coming off the bench and seeing what I could find work-wise that would permit me to work from home in some historic manner, yet for now I think I might keep plucking along and progress with a few more classes.

I think it's good you keep challenging your mind in whatever way you can.
If you don't mind me asking, what type of disability is it ? Obviously, you do not need to answer...
 

Carnifex

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A spinal cord injury. I spent years in a wheelchair, yet learned to walk somewhat with a walker, so long as I take it easy. My legs will swell if not elevated, so that adds an interesting caveat. My injury is similar to what happened to Chris Reeve, though not to the extent that he suffered. If the body is weak, at least the mind seems able, though I've been told otherwise at times. -p
 

Pladio

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A spinal cord injury. I spent years in a wheelchair, yet learned to walk somewhat with a walker, so long as I take it easy. My legs will swell if not elevated, so that adds an interesting caveat. My injury is similar to what happened to Chris Reeve, though not to the extent that he suffered. If the body is weak, at least the mind seems able, though I've been told otherwise at times. -p

Wish you all the best. :)
 

Kordanor

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If you got the infrastructure set up (so if it is common in the company you work, which might require a country where this is possible) and you only lose 20% of your income I really dont see any reason not to do it if you are sympathizing with it already.
Unless of course your calculation with the money is too short sighted.

But I think having a kid is a great reason to give it a try. If you have additional hobbys or want to try something different in your free time (like making a hobby to a job or anything like that), this is also an excellent opportunity.

Whether anyone had good or bad experiences with it, will again depend on country, company and legal framework. E.g. it might be hard to get back into full time, you might not get all the benefits your company is offering and so on. But you should be able to check this beforehand.
 

Shagnak

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I was wondering if anyone here works or has worked part time? Any good or bad experiences and would you have any advice?
If you can afford to do it, do it.
I've had stints of part time work where I got to spend time with the little ones, and it's invaluable. Once that time is gone, it's gone. You don't get it again.
Seriously, take the opportunity. Not everyone gets it.

Years later I've gone back to being part time, but I work as an independent contractor. This means I can get the equivalent of an average salary for only working half the hours. Means more time to contribute to domestic things, etc. The wife works full time and the kids are now teenagers (so relatively independent), so it's not like the sort of situation you're talking about, but that can be a future goal.
 

Redglyph

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The financial impact is big as I'd lose 20% of my salary, but I was asking myself why am I working ? And the answer is to be able to spend time with my family and enjoy life with them. So why am I spending 5 days a week without spending time with them ?
That's a very good argument. :)

I reached the same exact conclusion after too many years of stress and dedication for nothing or too little in return. Even if there had been more in return, it's just not worth it, except if you're an adrenaline addict - some people need hectic days, and I have to admit it's thrilling sometimes. But it's bad for us in the long run, and bad the family.

Good to hear you're in a good environment, it sounds like a healthy place!
 

Pladio

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If you got the infrastructure set up (so if it is common in the company you work, which might require a country where this is possible) and you only lose 20% of your income I really dont see any reason not to do it if you are sympathizing with it already.
Unless of course your calculation with the money is too short sighted.

But I think having a kid is a great reason to give it a try. If you have additional hobbys or want to try something different in your free time (like making a hobby to a job or anything like that), this is also an excellent opportunity.

Whether anyone had good or bad experiences with it, will again depend on country, company and legal framework. E.g. it might be hard to get back into full time, you might not get all the benefits your company is offering and so on. But you should be able to check this beforehand.

Thanks :) I think I may never want to go back to full time. That may be the issue as leaving to another part-time job is unlikely, so I may be stuck where I am unless I am willing to move back to a full time role (at least temporarily).

If you can afford to do it, do it.
I've had stints of part time work where I got to spend time with the little ones, and it's invaluable. Once that time is gone, it's gone. You don't get it again.
Seriously, take the opportunity. Not everyone gets it.

Years later I've gone back to being part time, but I work as an independent contractor. This means I can get the equivalent of an average salary for only working half the hours. Means more time to contribute to domestic things, etc. The wife works full time and the kids are now teenagers (so relatively independent), so it's not like the sort of situation you're talking about, but that can be a future goal.

I think it becomes a bit of a habit though. Once I address the budget of 20% less earning so spend 20% less, then it's just a matter of keeping it steady that way.

That's a very good argument. :)

I reached the same exact conclusion after too many years of stress and dedication for nothing or too little in return. Even if there had been more in return, it's just not worth it, except if you're an adrenaline addict - some people need hectic days, and I have to admit it's thrilling sometimes. But it's bad for us in the long run, and bad the family.

Good to hear you're in a good environment, it sounds like a healthy place!

Yeah, overall it is.

Thanks everyone. Appreciate the input.
 

Kordanor

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Do you actually lose 20% of your salary or your net income? Because if its the salary, and depending on the tax system in your country, these 20% are also taxed the most. Meaning the net loss is even less.
 

Pladio

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Do you actually lose 20% of your salary or your net income? Because if its the salary, and depending on the tax system in your country, these 20% are also taxed the most. Meaning the net loss is even less.

It's the salary. So My net income won't reduce by 20%, but it's still a hit :D
 

Qayto

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It's the salary. So My net income won't reduce by 20%, but it's still a hit :D

Is it a hit you can take / plan around if we do head into a nasty recession? Also, can you get the hours back if you needed to?

I know child care and travel can be a huge cost, that may balance things further.

I actually think it's a great idea if you can afford it.

The only other thing I would check, will your employer still be committed to any essential training you may need to be kept up-to-date. Some employers will prioritise full-timers believing it's a better investment. I don't know what field you work in or if that's even relevant to you.
 
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