All you need to know about flexible work in 2021
What is a part-time job?
A part-time job is a type of employment with less working hours compared to full-time positions provided by the same company. Even though there is no legal definition, part-time positions typically set out less than 35 hours work per week.
Business owners are interested in hiring part-time employees in the busy season to cover additional demand for their services. In some cases a company might be opting for this workforce model when testing a new business idea or launching a new service or product in order to keep costs lower before the new area starts generating a stable income.
Very often employers offer their existing staff flexibility to choose how many hours to work in order to retain talent or provide integration opportunities for vulnerable groups: women with children, employees close to retirement age or people with health issues.
Simultaneously, a growing number of jobseekers are searching for job opportunities with a high degree of flexibility – freelance, remote jobs and roles with reduced hours. The new generation of workers values job satisfaction, possibility to pursue one’s passion, mobility and freedom more than high pay, comfortable workplace or job security. And with the changing notion of workplace it is often not decisive where you work from.
What does part-time work mean in practice?
Let’s assume you have found an opening for your dream job. The job title and description mention, however, that this role is offered with reduced hours. You are probably wondering what it means in practice. Below we outline the main practical aspects for you to keep in mind before you sign the contract:
Your work schedule will to a large extent be determined by the responsible manager. There are different models possible: from five 4-hour days to two 10-hour days. In remote jobs you will have more influence on your working times as you are not bound by the office opening hours.
Your salary will depend on a number of factors: seniority of the job, your previous experience and expertise. Part-time workers are often compensated by the hour. There are, however, arrangements where the monthly pay is agreed in the contract as an overall remuneration, overtime work is not compensated in this case. If you are paid per hour, you have to be especially diligent about tracking your hours.
A part-time job can qualify for health insurance, holiday pay and retirement options. Even though employers can decide freely on the overall compensation package, most of businesses do offer additional perks to attract and retain talent. Jobseekers should proactively address this topic in the interview. Don’t be afraid to ask the responsible HR manager what options are available to you! It is also important to put all the negotiated bonuses in writing when you sign the contract.
Training and educational requirements do not typically differ from the comparable full-time job. At the same time, flexible roles require well-developed organizational and time-management skills, sales, negotiation and communication skills, stress resilience. The rest of the skills requirements can be hidden in an individual job title and description. Look out for a combination of hard and soft skills as well as information regarding years of work experience!
Advantages and disadvantages of a part-time job
There are several pros and cons you have to consider when you are looking for part-time jobs. Most importantly, all of the following considerations have to be weighed against your individual preferences and current life situation.
- More control over the work schedule means you can have more space and energy for your personal physical and mental wellness, family and kids, your community, hobbies or even start your own company. Of course, combination of two careers would put additional stress on you.
- You also can often decide whether you work from home, coworking or maybe a remote island.
- Less strict entry requirements make it ideal for students and young graduates.
- In such roles you might have less career development opportunities.
- If you work less hours, your total income will probably be impacted.
If you are looking for more information, check out our blog posts on this topic and get inspiration from our curated selection of part-time jobs for any age group and academic background.