Working Part-time and how it works for me
Working in recruitment involves managing projects and looking after clients (whether employers or job seekers) which is probably one of the reasons why working on a part time basis isn’t very common. We thought it would be helpful though to interview Archie Ravalia who has first and experience to give us her thoughts on working part time, the Pros and Cons.
Why do you think it is so hard to encourage employers to hire people on a part time basis?
Employers probably feel that the work output would diminish if there were less hours worked by an employees and probably would not want a skeletal workforce in place. They would also worry about who might cover when that person was absent and they might also be concerned about managing a client project and deadline. I do believe that, if you are extremely organised and efficient that the above needn’t be a problem.
Why does working part-time work for you?
Working on a part-time basis allows me to get the work life balance right and I can be there for my children when they finish school. Having this option helps me to focus and maximise my input when I am at work.
What advice would you give someone who wants to reduce their working hours with their current employer. How should they approach it?
Don’t be afraid to ask the employer but be back up your reasons for wanting to work part time. Explain what hours you want to work and think about the possible concerns that may come up and work out how these might be managed by your employer. If you genuinely believe you are able to do your job on less hours without imposing on your team then explain your reasons which this would benefit your employer as well.
Some people say that you are punished for reducing your hours as your phone is never switched off and you end up doing more work when you are back in the office to catch up with what you have missed out on?
That’s not necessarily the case. I do check my phone for messages at certain times (usually the end of the day), when I am not work, to deal with any emergency that may occur. Mostly I switch off and make sure that I have given a proper handover to my colleagues so they can deal with any urgent issues if they occur. It’s all about communication and teamwork.
Do you really switch off when you are not at work (on the days that you stop working)?
Yes, mostly. In recruitment you can’t help care about the work you do, so you cant help thinking about an interview that might be taking place, or waiting to hear about a job offer. But being part time means that I don’t feel guilty if I am doing other things when I am not working.
What advice / tips would you give to an employer who is worried about employing someone on a part time basis?
The most obvious concern will be having to offload the extra work to other staff members when they are not in and then cause resentment. I would advise an employer to believe in your team. Consult them to see how this could be managed. Positivity and trust works both ways and if you allow your staff to work part time, they might be happier, less likely to have sickness and stay mentally healthy, and as a result more likely to produce better results.
What do you do on the days you aren’t at work and why is this important to you?
The days I am off I normally go to my children’s school as a parent volunteer and help with reading and other activities.
Do your clients mind if you are not working all week?
Not at all. My clients are happy as long as they know they have all things covered. They key is to manage your clients expectations, let them know what you have done and when you will be away, and what would happen if they needed something dealt with urgently. We work very much as a team at Boyce Recruitment which means we all support each other, and our clients.