As people’s working habits and personal priorities change, is part-time working the future for many of the UK’s workforce?
The most recent employment figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that there are 8.43 million people working part-time – a rise of 71,000 from the previous year. These people are, on average, working 16.2 hours per week in their main job.
But why are so many people choosing part-time employment over full time work? Here are a few reasons…
Supporting your family
More and more people are struggling to achieve the work/life balance they would like. This has led to people choosing to go part time so they can spend more time with their family.
It’s also a financial matter – the Family and Childcare Trust reports that average costs for childcare rose by 32.8% between 2010 and 2015, while wages growth was in single figures. It’s making more sense to ditch the childcare and do it yourself.
But it’s not just the kids that need looking after.
We’re faced with an aging population that is leading to a care crisis. Many workers are giving up their full-time roles so they can spend time caring for their elderly parents. Others are being forced to take up part-time work in retirement to fund the care of parents who are easily living well into their 80s and 90s.
One reason people are embracing part-time work is that it’s becoming a lot easier to do. Remote working is now big business. This makes part-time working more effective as it reduces commute time and means the limited hours you spend at work are actually for work instead of travelling.
It also means you can fit the hours around your home schedule, instead of having to fit your life around the rigid 9-5. This is especially important for parents who need to do school runs.
While many people might be classed as being ‘part-time’ it doesn’t means they’re not working a full week.
Portfolio working is a popular option – it involves someone working part-time in 2 or 3 positions, in different fields. People aren’t just interested or skilled in one specific thing so portfolio working allows them to use their abilities to the full.
Follow your passions
Going part-time means that you can follow your passions in your spare time.
Whether you’re working on a novel, want to train a local football team or are an avid traveller, cutting your working hours down gives you the freedom to embrace these activities.
Reducing your hours to a part-time level could just be a short term solution as you retrain for another role.
If you’re thinking of a major career change, trying to fit training in around your current job can be hard – but many people can’t afford to ditch the income and go into full-time education. Going part-time is the best of both worlds.
Posted by The Secret Businessman