Going Part-Time?

I have been thinking of my work-life balance.

It’s fine really – I work 7 hours a day, have an hour lunch, and have a 3 hour commute, making up an 11-hour working day. It’s nothing to complain about, especially as I get one day a week working from home, so I can then avoid the commute for a day.

So call it 52 hours a week on work-related stuff (though I get to sleep/read on the train, but ignore that).

That isn’t bad compared to many other people.

But I have been thinking of changing it.

Not a new job, or a re-location (we only bought the house a year ago, further away from work), but a change in hours.

First thought was to drop a day a week, but that seems like a lot: 20% of my pay would just disappear. I could live, and still reasonably comfortably (thanks to a nice promotion & pay-rise last year), but 20% seems a lot. And work may not go for it as they need the work doing.

But one of Adam’s colleagues does 90%; he works 9/10 days. He gets every other Friday off. That sounds do-able. 10% pay cut, the work can still get done, and I get a day off every two weeks.clock

Sounds good.

But would it be worth it? Is such a small drop in working hours that much different? Would it give me so much more time? Is the drop in money worth it?

I have asked the internet (Googled) to see if anyone has discussed this before, but all I can see is nurses talking about 0.9 FTE over a load of different shifts/weeks, so not quite my circumstances.

I’ve done the maths, and calculated what I would lose per day I didn’t work, and then how much annual leave I would lose and how many ‘unpaid’ days I would get etc. etc. (everything gets put in a spreadsheet with me) but it doesn’t tell me what to do.

My main concern is that I would waste time – sit in front of the TV, sleep til noon and basically achieve nothing. I think I would have to have a plan. I have my marathon plan to get through, so some daylight hours would be good for that. I also thought about maybe doing something with my Dad – get him c25k-ing, or out on his bike (he recent gave me one too – not sure if this is a hint, or not) for example.

This all started as someone at work has gone on a sabbatical for 3 months. I am not sure if it is unpaid, or how it is worked out, but it sounds like bliss! I have been in this place (a large NGO in various roles) for over 9 years now and in terms of leave/absences I have only ever had two weeks off once and then one week once/twice a year. That is a long time in one place without a break.

My partner has held a number of jobs since we have been together, often being in one place for 6 months before having a month or two off before starting another role. I didn’t, and can’t still, know what that is like, having come out of uni, straight into this role and have just got stuck here.

I have no real reason to leave: I change roles every couple of years, I am paid well and the people are great. But maybe I make it less by 10%.

Has anyone done this? What are the pros and cons? Is it then hard to go back to full-time as you have to convince your employers that the work needs to take longer again!?

Any advice/thoughts would be appreciated.


2 thoughts on “Going Part-Time?

  1. I wish I could offer advise on this…but I can’t. It sounds like it wouldn’t be a “risky” decision, so I don’t think you stand to lose too much by perhaps giving it a try, except for the money of course, but you could always switch back to full time again if you decide it’s not for you. I agree that you should have some kind of project to work on during your off hours, you could even use the time to foster new skills that would enhance your career. Whatever you decide to do, GOOD LUCK!

    Liked by 1 person

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