Do you work part time? How do you support those who do?

I thought this post was super interesting.

It’s an excellent insight into a typical week of someone who works three days a week and the challenges and benefits that arise.

Do you work part time? What’s your experience like? How supported are you?

If you’re a full timer, how do you support those who are working part time?

I find this interesting as I imagine we’ll one day get to a point where there is just “time” and the concept of “full” or “part” is something for the history books. Conceptual of course yet I’m hopeful this leads to more inclusive work opportunities for everyone.

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I joined my company when I was returning to work from parental leave, my kid was 2.5 years old at that time. I started at 20 hours per week. At first I wanted to condense those hours into two 10-hour days but I soon realised that this arrangement doesn’t work well both for me and for my company. So I started working from home, fitting in the odd half-hour here and there between caring for my kid, working a couple hours every day. That was a good arrangement, although it was really taxing to work and care for a kid at the same time.

After a while, as my kid got older, I felt I’m ready to up my hours. So I went to 30 hours per week (also spread over five days) and finally to full time. And then, after about a year of working full time, I realised I’m not having the work-life balance I wanted. I took inspiration from my mentor @lewis.prescott and went back to part-time. This time it’s 32 hours per week, four eight-hour days with Fridays off. This is doing wonders for my mental health and having a dedicated day off helps me honor a clear boundary - I block the day in my calendar, close my email and log off Slack so that I’m not tempted to keep checking what is the team up to.

I’m just as productive as I was when I was working five days - AND I get more leisure time! The only downside is the pay cut. But my company is paying me well so I can afford it and I feel it’s totally worth it.

It’s incredible how supportive and flexible my company has been throughout this whole journey! The only thing that would make it better is having a company-wide four day week with full pay :slight_smile: I hope that becomes the norm in the future.

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Interesting post and curious to see if people here work part time.

I cannot imagine being part time on a team. I mean like I work 40 hours and love my job a lot so I often do more hours for fun because I like what I’m doing. So yea really curious to hear from people if part time working is a thing in IT - Testing because I can imagine it not being easy to stay on top of everything?

How do you deal with refinements and everything? Some questions for people who work part time:

  • Did you start full time and scaled down to part time?
  • Have you ever started as a part timer?
  • Is your work different then from a full timer?

I’ve just been googling a bit for part-time vacancies around my area and I cannot find any (in IT).

Working part time or compressing your hours into a 4 day working week / 9 day fortnight is a regular occurrence in my place

I see people adopting this for two main reasons childcare/mental health - but I guess the reason is irrelevant, tools like JIRA support those working reduced hours because the changes in the tasks/workload is much more visible now and there’s less to worry about in terms of handovers/reaching out to team members to get updates when you can just look at a Kanban board and get the updates you need

I haven’t noticed that my duties are increased by having part time members in the team

For me, as a 30 something female with no kids, it does make me wonder if the “you can have it all” message is often debunked by the fact that so many parents go part time in order to manage a household - I realise that wasn’t the question you asked but its often something I think about

I work fulltime.

I used to work parttime when I started out in my first testing job. The reason was that my employer did not have the budget to hire me fulltime, even though I wanted it. I was completely absent on the parttime day - we had a company wide norm to be completely offline and absent during weekends and vacations.
After 11 months, I could join a subsidized project and went fulltime. In practice, I spent most of my extra time on my main testing job, not on the project.

2 members of my team work parttime and that totally works fine. One colleague does a 9-day fortnight. We have one day per week in the office, and we choose a day that works for the part-timers. It was quite a long discussion to choose this date, also because not all teams can have the office day on the same day (the office is too small), and most teams have a parent.

As a non-parent, I am more than happy to support parents. I wish the parents would ask me more.

Examples:

  • in a past non-software testing job, our team got assigned a time slot on a shared machine late on the day. This was difficult for the parent in the team, so I took the shift.
  • schedule meetings well before the end of the workday, and reliably end the meetings on time, so that parents can pick up their children.
  • I am very happy if parents communicate what they want and need.
  • be flexible about the office day. I can make it to the office any day - it’s up to the parents to choose.

I hope for a future where being a working parent is easier.