Employers across the UK are noticing the benefits of hiring more part-time staff and fewer full-time staff when building their workforce. Read on to find out whether working part time could also be beneficial for you as an employee.
What is Part-Time Work?
Whilst there’s no specific number of hours that results in someone being classed as full or part time, a part-time worker will typically work less than 35 hours per week. Part-time workers generally work in shifts which are often rotational. So, for example, you might work the 9 am to 2 pm shift one week, and the 2 pm to 7 pm shift the next.
Advantages of Working Part Time
The are several advantages when it comes to working part time. We take a look at some of the main ones below.
More Free Time
Undoubtedly the most significant advantage of working part time is the increased free time you have in your day. Of course, you may choose to spend this time in a variety of ways. Many parents choose to dedicate more time to their families. Another common way to make the most of this time is to expand your skill set or level up your qualifications through retraining.
Reduced Stress Levels
When you have less time to dedicate to your well-being and development, it can increase the likelihood of becoming burned out. Part-time workers typically benefit from increased flexibility, which is proven to reduce stress levels in the workplace. This can contribute towards a healthier work-life balance.
A part-time job can provide you with valuable experience and training in an unfamiliar industry as employers may be initially reluctant to offer a new full-time role. It can also provide you with the opportunity to earn a higher overall salary, with some workers choosing to work two part-time roles instead of one.
Save Money Working Part Time
Another advantage of part-time work is the opportunity to save money. By working fewer days in the week, you can spend less on expensive commutes to and from work. You could also save money on your car insurance premium, with many insurers offering a lower price compared with those who use their vehicle every day.
Working Part Time vs Full Time
For the most part, the number of part-time workers in the UK has been steadily increasing over the last few decades. But, when choosing between working part time and full time, there are important factors to take into account.
Consider asking yourself the following questions:
Can I Afford to Work Part Time?
The most important question to ask yourself is if you can live comfortably on a reduced wage. Before coming to a decision, it’s a good idea to draw up a budget based on your current living expenses, such as rent, utility bills, and commuting costs. Compare this with the lower salary you’d receive from part-time work to gain a realistic insight into life on a reduced income.
This may help identify areas where you can cut back on your outgoings. However, also remember to consider your reduced ability to save or contribute towards a pension.
Are Part-Time Roles Available?
You need to find out if part-time working options exist in the type of work you aspire to do. There is a variety of role types, hours, and salaries across different industries. However, trying to find part-time work in certain sectors can be difficult.
Be prepared to spend longer searching for that perfect role, particularly in areas that traditionally rely on a full-time workforce. An alternative may be to consider asking for additional flexibility in your current role, such as working from home a couple of days each week.
What are Your Priorities?
Consider your motivation for change – is it to spend more time with your family or to focus on other ambitions? Are you planning on working part time temporarily or will it be a more permanent switch?
Whatever your motivation may be, it’s important to understand where your priorities lie. Switching to part-time work can negatively affect your career trajectory. For instance, one Working Families study showed that part-time workers had just a 21% chance of getting promoted compared with a 45% chance in full-time workers.
Final Thoughts: Working Part Time
There’s no denying the numerous benefits surrounding part-time work. When you have other commitments, such as a family, having the extra time in your day to spend with them can be priceless.
That being said, it’s essential to do your research and weigh up all your options before committing to the change. For further information on the different types of career opportunities, head over to our page on Which career is right for you?
Be sure to check out Refreshing a Career’s part-time jobs board for all the latest opportunities in your area. Visit our other pages for anyone working around existing commitments, such as:
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