Without doubt, businesses have faced huge challenges adapting and continuing to adapt to the “new normal”.  Here, at Ten2Two, we’ve championed flexible working for many years, and see the value of part-time employees. Whilst the circumstances which have forced businesses to change working practices continue to challenge, we are heartened to see that many organisations have adapted well. The Institute of Directors suggests nearly three quarters of businesses plan to continue with some form of home working.

 

PART-TIME IS GAINING MOMENTUM

Before the pandemic, quality part-time roles accounted for less than 10% of the job market. Whilst that’s disappointing, it isn’t really a surprise.

We have all worked in offices where the value of part-time employees was questioned. “Had enough already?” and “Nice of you to pop in” are comments we’ve heard levelled at part-timers.
However, given the difficult economic environment we find ourselves in right now, it feels the right time for the ‘professional part-timer’ to come out of the shadows.

  • A recent report by the Internet Association, who published a new jobs indicator report, indicates this could be happening. August 2020 saw a 63% increase in full time job postings over the previous month and an 85% increase in part time job postings.
  • The thinktank Autonomy believes part-time options will create new roles and reduce redundancies – they predict a four-day week could create up to 500,000 new jobs and limit unemployment in the public sector alone.
  • Individuals working part-time (usually a role under 30 hours a week) are also known to be more productive, motivated and committed. Interestingly, a study by the University of Birmingham and the University of Kent on home-working during lockdown found that 36% of those surveyed were able to get more work done in a shorter amount of time at home during lockdown.

“Part-time” could prove to be an invaluable option for businesses going forwards, and for the improved well-being of employees.

THE BENEFITS OF PART-TIME WORKING

The business community, almost overnight, has had to re-evaluate its perception of “work” to accommodate more fluid and agile options as a result of the pandemic. “Part-time” should no longer be deemed a less meaningful type of role, but just one of the many working arrangements on the table that has particularly relevant benefits in the current climate:

Limit unemployment

Sadly, the number of redundancies in the UK is predicted to increase to 1.6m next year. It isn’t always possible for an employee to work less hours given their own personal circumstances, but where possible, reducing working hours could mean a business avoids letting as many staff go.

Benefit from government support

The previous and extended furlough scheme (CJRS) has highlighted part-time options to businesses and actively supports the retention of employees on a part-time basis.

Expand your talent pool

If you are recruiting, avoid creating a role in the standard Monday-Friday 9-5 format. There will be numerous highly experienced candidates in the market, many will be working parents who want to work part-time.

Expertise at an affordable cost

If you need short term specific advice consider part-time and/or interim contracts. How about an FD for a few hours a month to help get you back on track? It’s that injection of expertise for much less cost and very little risk that can bring massive benefits. Read more about different “flexible working” options, and what could work for your business.

Motivated and productive employees

Let’s not forget how your employees feel. It is well documented that part-time employees feel more committed, loyal and productive. 75% of employers say that flexible working has a positive effect on retention and 73% say it improves staff motivation (CIPD). Modern Family Research quote a 58% improvement in productivity for employees offered flexibility.

This could be the time to consider the value of part-time employees for your business. Read real-life case studies demonstrating how part-time or flexible employees help a business control cost, attract hidden talent, increase diversity and retain staff.

Get in touch if you’d like to chat through how.
jane@ten2two.org 01442 503727

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