Your Flexible Working Options
A Flexible Format to Suit Your Needs
If you’re thinking about changing your working pattern, you could start by taking a look at some of our recent examples of part time and flexible working jobs. But firstly, there are a number of options to think about, which might fit your requirements. Here are three factors to bear in mind:
|How many hours a week do you want to work?||When do you want to (or can you) work during the week?||How far do you want to travel to an office location – or can you work from home?|
Think about two things: what you’d LIKE to do and what you may HAVE to do. For example, school drop off/pick up may restrict the hours you can work each day, and the distance from home (or the school) you can work. But millions of people make it work successfully for them so there’s probably an option or two that works for you.
Here’s a list of the most frequently used part-time and flexible formats that we see at our part-time recruitment agency. Ideally, have more than one in mind that might work but either way, understand the fixed personal or family commitments you have:
|Part-time week||3 full days per week, 9.00am to 5.30pm||If circumstances allow, many people like to work several full-days to ‘get their teeth into the job’|
|Part-time days||Reduced daily hours, 5 days per week e.g. 9.00am-3.00pm||Perfect when you have school drop off and pick up commitments|
|Job-share||Sharing a role between two people, e.g. split 3 days and 2 days per week||Ideal when the employer requires full-time hours but the incumbent wants to move to part-time|
|Nine-day fortnight||Working full days but 9 days instead of 10 over a fortnight||Offers some time off every fortnight but allows you to commit to ‘virtual full-time’|
|Condensed hours||Full-time hours condensed into four longer days||Allows you to work full-time hours and get full-time salary with time off every week|
|Staggered Hours||Full-time hours over different times, i.e. 7am-3pm||Great when you want to drop off or pick up – or avoid the commuting rush|
|Short term/medium term contracts||To cover specific fixed term projects or roles||When you’ve got skills that are needed in blocks. Can be worked full or part-time|
|Working from home||Some or all of the role can be worked from home||When jobs can be worked remotely – not all can so consider part of the week from home if you’re keen|
|Local job – Zero / Reduced travel||Full-time working but employee saves many commuting hours per week through working locally||Full-time but might save up to 10 hours a week commuting – can be life-changing|
|Freelance||Offering your service or skills by the hour/day/project||Offers variety and flexibility for people with creative skills like designers and writers|
Be Flexible in Your Approach
Here at our flexible and part-time recruitment agency, we find that many candidates have a particular working format and ideal number of working hours in mind. However, if your other commitments allow some flexibility, it’s always good to keep an open mind:
- Before applying for a role, consider the amount of flexibility you have in your working week. It’s good to have some flexibility in mind when looking at job adverts; and it also helps when you contact a flexible and part-time recruitment agency like ours.
- When applying for a role, think through how the days and hours required by the employer might work for you and if you can adjust your initial thoughts on working hours. Don’t compromise if you have real practical restrictions but there’s often a discussion about how an ideal candidate and an ideal employer could work together.
- We often find that people adjust their working hours or patterns once they’ve settled into a job to make it work more effectively for everyone. Don’t be afraid to suggest improvements.
- Understand how your ‘capacity’ could change in the future – members often increase their hours over time, particularly where it’s a new role or if it starts with just a few weekly hours – so know if you will be able to increase them in the future.
Making it Work
Once you’ve found your ideal part-time or flexible role, you have to make it work for you and your employer. Here’s a few tips from Ten2Two members that found jobs through our flexible and part-time recruitment agency:
“Being part-time and needing to leave promptly means being very organised in work all the time. I work solidly for the hours that I am in the office and I think it is important to be and be seen to be on top of my work at all times.”
Jenny Baker-Hirst, Finance Director
“Always keep in perspective what is important and urgent at work so that you are really achieving the necessary stuff, and letting the things which aren’t going to change the world go. ”
Vicky Woods, Merchandise Director
“It’s important to have a very strong and trusting relationship with your manager so there are no doubts about what is expected of you.”
Sheena Coster, HR and Organisation Manager
“Communication, communication, communication – flexible hours will mean you might miss days or parts of the day – make sure your colleagues keep you up to speed with what’s happening – and if not don’t be afraid to ask!”
Kate Hardy, Administration Manager
Remember, it might be the first time your new employer or client is working with a flexible worker so you may need to be very deliberate in how you organise, communicate and review your progress!
Seeking Flexibility in Your Current Role?
You might not looking for our flexible and part-time recruitment agency to help you right now. If you’re already working full-time and you’re keen to stay with your employer, you can request flexible working in your current role. The regulations changed in June 2014 so here are a couple of places you can check out the process:
ACAS always provide solid, up to date guidance. You’ll find guidance on making a request and a copy of the code of practice employers should follow when handling a request
GOV.CO.UK provides a simple step by step process for requesting flexible working.