Flexible Options for Professionals

What Flexible Working option works best for you?

If you’re thinking about changing your working pattern, you could start by contacting our flexible and part-time recruitment agency. But firstly, there are a number of options to think about, which might fit your requirements. Here are three factors to bear in mind:

Hours Working Pattern Location
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:

Format Example
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

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.

What type of Flexible Professional are you?

There are many ways in which flexible and part-time working can help you fulfil both your professional career and personal lifestyle needs. This is especially true if you’re returning to work after having kids or if you’ve had a career break. See if you find yourself in one of the following situations:

Part-time Professional
“I want to continue my career and use my skills but work fewer hours…”

Your Situation

You may be considering a return to work after a career break or opting out of full-time hours. But either way, you want – or need – to work reduced hours. And one of your overriding needs is to continue your career path in your chosen profession.

The Flexible Fix = Part-time professional

Every month, more businesses turn to flexible or part-time employees to affordably meet the needs of their business. So there are opportunities for you to meet both your career and personal needs. There’s a variety of flexible formats listed on this page that might work to get you started.

 

'Step-Back' Professional
“I want to use my skills but perhaps not at the level I used to be…”

Your Situation

Perhaps you’ve been out of the workplace for a few years? Or maybe you’re looking for a rewarding role, but without the stresses and long hours that came with your previous roles.

The Flexible Fix = Step-back professional

Many businesses – especially younger, growing companies – need experienced professionals to support and administer their organisation. You might want to use your experience and organisational skills in an administrative role that uses your knowledge of finance, marketing or HR.

 

Flexible Full-Time
“I’m happy to do full-time hours but really need some flexibility…”

Your Situation

You’re still able or want to work full-time hours, but some job flexibility in your working pattern would make life a little easier. Perhaps in your existing job or if you’re looking for something new.

The Flexible Fix = Flexible Full-Time

Staggered hours (e.g. starting early and finishing early), compressed hours (e.g. full-time hours worked in four days) or working from home (eliminating the commute) might just be the solution for you. Many employers will offer this type of flexibility when they know full-time hours can be fulfilled.

 

Contract Professionals
“I’d like the flexibility offered by contract work rather than commit to long-term permanent employment…”

Your Situation

Your skills and experience are very valuable and in demand. You like taking on chunky, busy projects but you’d still like some job flexibility. Maybe you haven’t got day-to-day restrictions on your time, but occasionally some longer periods of time off would help.

The Flexible Fix = Contract Professional

Many professionals offer their professional services on fixed-term contracts (full or part-time hours). Perhaps it’s a project within a business that needs additional or specialist skills or cover for an absent employee. One, three or six month projects are common, and you can be ‘employed’ on a contract or work through your own Limited Company.

 

Non-Executive Support and Mentoring
“I’d like to use my higher level expertise and experience to help a business grow…”

Your Situation

You may have reached the top of the tree, and you’re keen to use the considerable management experience or specialist skills you’ve spent years developing.

The Flexible Fix = Non-Executive Support and Mentoring

Working with a senior team or senior executive to provide high-level business guidance and support might be the solution. Working informally as a business mentor or more formally as a Non-Executive Director (NED) to one or more companies that can use your skills to the fullest. From a day or two a month, to a few hours every week, you can give value to your client whilst achieving the job flexibility you need.

 

Freelance Creative
“I’m a creative professional. I want variety from different projects but I want real flexibility in my working week and employment status…”

Your Situation

You’ve probably had a career as a graphic designer, web developer, journalist or editor working within an agency, media company or publisher. But now you want the ability to determine your own schedule and perhaps build a business of your own.

The Flexible Fix = Freelance Creative

Freelancing is one of the most popular ways of offering creative skills – there are nearly 1.5m freelancers in the UK. Set yourself up in self-employment. Or if you’re more ambitious, set up a Limited Company – some clients need this for tax purposes. Offer your creative skills to clients on an hourly, daily or project basis. You’ll need to build a portfolio of past work and start networking with past contacts and local businesses.