I like working part time, I really like it. For nearly five years now I have been working a three day week. I started out working Monday, Tuesday and Thursday but now work Tuesday to Thursday. Many people I know work part time as well, it seems to be more common.
What I like most of all is that I have two additional days to do other things, in my case looking after the grandchildren.
Yet part time working is not all plain sailing. I have said before how hard it is not to try and pack five days’ work into three and the expectation of most people who don’t work part time is that you really want to work full time but just can’t find a proper job. The pressure is always there to comply with the ‘norm’.
Of course it is not just people that are acting against you. As an example, over the last few weeks I have had to read the National Cyber Strategy and then try to get my head around the Levelling Up White Paper. The National Cyber Strategy is a good read and about 80 pages long. Even so it took me about four hours to read it through, understand its implications for our cyber security cluster and plan what we are going to do to address it. The Levelling Up document is over 300 pages long. When I do read it, if I haven’t done so by the time you read this, then it’s going to take me some time.
I might work 60% of a full week, yet I don’t have the option of reading 60% of the report. Missing 2 words out of 5 isn’t going to cut it. The same holds true for meetings. If a meeting lasts an hour I can’t attend for only 36 minutes.
While my working week may be shorter, some of the components that fill it remain the same length. The mandatory ones I have no choice over, which means that the only thing I can reduce is discretionary time. Unless you work part time in a job that requires you to repeat time bound tasks then it seems that part time work is actually harder to accommodate.
I’m not sure how I found the time to write this!