How to Go Part-time for Part of the Year
In my perfect flexible world, every professional would have the option to work part-time hours. I know—it’s not practical in the real world of work. Nor is it affordable for many. But what if…
What if you could work part-time hours, part of the year?
A three-day workweek for up to two months would give you more time off every week, meaning lots more free time to focus on life outside of work.
This might be a practical solution if, for example, you need a chunk of for a personal project. I thought of these examples:
- planning a wedding
- getting your side business off the ground
- sharing the care of a newborn until he’s old enough for daycare
- taking a graduate course
The summer months have special appeal for more time off. A three-day workweek during July and August would allow you a string of four-day weekends, which means:
- more time with your kids or grandkids during the summer
- more time for your gardening or boating while the weather is nice
- more time for regional road trips and weekend getaways
Working part-time during the major year-end holiday season can also ease the stress of the season. You know what I’m talking about!
A temporary part-time arrangement could be an affordable option when it might not be otherwise. You enjoy the perks of a reduced-hours schedule without committing to a reduced salary for the long term.
Tactical Tips for Temporary Part-time
When presenting your proposal for short-term part-time hours, keep these tips in mind.
- Labeling: When making the pitch to your manager, label it a “seasonal schedule shift.”
- Planning: Redesign your work duties and schedule to show your manager how the job will get done in fewer hours.
- Timing A: While summer and November/December holiday time are appealing short-term picks, do match your request to your workplace’s seasonal, slower times of the year.
- Timing B: Present your proposal to work fewer hours at least a month before that seasonal shift is due to occur so there’s time for the negotiation and approval process.
- Employer savings: When it comes to department budgets, managers are looking for pain-free ways to save money. Emphasize the cost savings that come from your temporarily-reduced salary.
- Persuading: If you meet resistance to reducing your hours, point out the closed-end, short-term aspect of the proposal. In fact, two months is shorter than the typical flexible work arrangement trial period of three to six months.
- Negotiating: Your positioning is that you are remaining a full-time employee—with full-time benefits—during this temporary schedule shift. Get written agreement on this point.
A seasonal schedule shift can be the creative flexibility solution you need to get more free time without giving up your full-time salary year-round. Assuming all goes well, you can arrange to repeat it annually.
If you like this idea, choose the Part-time Proposal Package to plan and present your business case. Please let me know if you have any questions about this idea or need to get beyond your fears about requesting it.