Reduced Hours - Part Time

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Reduced Hours - Part Time

Postby LizAnn » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:57 am

Has anyone gone to a reduced hours schedule or a part time schedule? I am contemplating reducing my hours to 80% and wanted other opinions and/or experiences.
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Re: Reduced Hours - Part Time

Postby neh0607 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:08 am

I work 32.1 hrs a week (required to keep full-time benefits where I work). BEST.DECISION.EVER!!! I reduced my hours after my 2nd was born so going on 7 years. It is so nice to have that one day a week to get errands ran, household tasks caught up and spend time with my youngest while she is still not in school 5 days a week. In the summer, it's awesome to have a special bonding day with all 3 of my kiddos (of course I am not productive with the other errands and cleaning during the summer but worth it).
~ Nora & Daryl ~ June 30, 2007 ~

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Re: Reduced Hours - Part Time

Postby LizAnn » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:59 am

neh0607 wrote:I work 32.1 hrs a week (required to keep full-time benefits where I work). BEST.DECISION.EVER!!! I reduced my hours after my 2nd was born so going on 7 years. It is so nice to have that one day a week to get errands ran, household tasks caught up and spend time with my youngest while she is still not in school 5 days a week. In the summer, it's awesome to have a special bonding day with all 3 of my kiddos (of course I am not productive with the other errands and cleaning during the summer but worth it).


That sounds awesome! I don't know that I would actually be able to take a day off each week, but I would be able to come in later and leave earlier. And take more random days off. Although, ideally I would turn it into staying home one day a week and working a few hours, but also running errands and other things that need to get done around the house. It sounds so enticing!
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Re: Reduced Hours - Part Time

Postby jennelled » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:22 am

I'm considering this when Clara starts kindergarten this fall. I've discussed it with my manager and CFO, and they were receptive. My main concern (and actually they both agreed) is that I'd end up working full time hours for a 20% pay cut. Depending on the nature of your work, it's hard to give up 20%. Like, what gets cut? Who does it? Are you just trying to cram the same stuff into fewer hours?

I have a friend that works 30 hours per week, and it's definitely noticed and mentioned. Now, whether that affects her raises (no career progression possible at my company), I'm not sure - but I know that she absolutely hates it when she gives an expected timeline for a project and the reaction is, oh, that's right, you don't work full time.

The advice I've read on the internet (super scientific!) is that men don't go part time or ask for formal flexible arrangements. They just DO it. They come in late, leave early, whatever they need. And...by and large no one notices or says anything. Which means they're getting the flexibility they need AND still getting paid FT with no negative connotations of going PT. This is basically what I'm doing now. I pretty much never get to the office before 8:30, and I'm out the door most days by 4:45. Last night it was 5:15, but that was pretty late for me! On Tuesdays, I leave at 3:45, take Audrey to Faith Formation, and try to work from 4:45-5:45 while she's there - but lately, I am carting a bunch of kids around and the extra work isn't happening. I didn't ask to do this, I just DID it. And no one cared! As the default parent, I'm constantly taking someone to a doctor's appointment (SO MANY KIDS). I don't have a set WFH day, but it seems that I've been home at least a day or two each week lately. (Actually, I was just thinking I managed to work every day in the office last week, with no major coming in late or leaving early - but then I remembered that I left early for my OWN doctor appointment on Monday afternoon. Always something!)

This varies by employer, obviously. I used to work where Nora does, and PT is supported there. Their time reporting structure allows for really precise arrangements!
Jennelle: wife to Matt 06.07.08, mom to Audrey Grace 02.05.12, Clara Rose 08.06.14, and Corinne Elise 09.24.17
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Re: Reduced Hours - Part Time

Postby durbaa » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:33 am

jennelled wrote:This varies by employer, obviously. I used to work where Nora does, and PT is supported there. Their time reporting structure allows for really precise arrangements!


It's funny that you say this, as I was reading this I was trying to imagine what my boss would say if I asked to reduce hours. I just don't think it would happen. Which is strange because my department (and boss) is super flexible and what I do has really no bearing on my coworkers at all, but I just can't see them letting me actually cut my hours.
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Re: Reduced Hours - Part Time

Postby jennelled » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:42 am

durbaa wrote:
jennelled wrote:This varies by employer, obviously. I used to work where Nora does, and PT is supported there. Their time reporting structure allows for really precise arrangements!


It's funny that you say this, as I was reading this I was trying to imagine what my boss would say if I asked to reduce hours. I just don't think it would happen. Which is strange because my department (and boss) is super flexible and what I do has really no bearing on my coworkers at all, but I just can't see them letting me actually cut my hours.


I'll add, it can vary be department. ;) I know that one of the organizations I worked for within that company told their PTers to either return FT or they were going to be laid off a couple of years ago. They couldn't afford to have a full headcount taken up by someone who wasn't putting out a full headcount's worth of work, you know?
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Re: Reduced Hours - Part Time

Postby LizAnn » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:26 am

I guess my situation is a bit different than most. I am an attorney that works at a large, national firm. We have a billable requirement of 1900 hours each year. It is a very difficult requirement to achieve (for me, but I think for most). If I went to 80% I would have 1520 hours to bill each year. The pressure of billing so many hours would be decreased if I went to 80%. While I know that a lot of people do not hit 1900, I feel pressured to try, which results in stress. So my days in the office would probably stay the same, but I wouldn't feel the need to work every night after the kids go to bed or on weekends.

Also, Jennelle, I have not worked a full week since the first week of December, I think. We have had doctor's appointments, sickness, field trips, car issues, snow days... It seems I never work a full week and that obviously results in lower hours being billed... I have been here for a couple of years now and I have always gotten great reviews, but I just wonder if work-life balance would improve if I didn't have the pressure of the hours looming overhead.

Big law firms in general have retention issues, so our firm has a new initiative that if you want to work a reduced schedule that is your right. You just have to discuss it with your group chair and HR. Obviously, some areas of law make this type of thing difficult, but mine is pretty flexible (estate planning). Our firm as a whole really tries to work with people to make sure they are happy and I think this new initiative is part of that.

I have received differing opinions from more senior women attorneys. One said she worked part time for 10 years while her children were young and loved the freedom it provided. She is now a BIG deal at our firm. The other says don't reduce your pay unless you have to, and that lots of people don't make hours and don't let it bother me unless someone brings it up.

You are correct though, men just do it, whereas we feel the need to ask. That being said, when it comes to stuff for my kids, I don't ask. I just do it and then if it comes up later I say that my kids come first. I think I am going to start having a (self-imposed) dedicated work from home day. It sure would be nice to not get up and get ready one day a week.
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Re: Reduced Hours - Part Time

Postby *K » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:34 am

I have a similar job so I understand your concerns. Unless you are trying to take one dedicated day off I wouldn't entertain the pay cut, especially if it's common for others to not hit hours.

I think I have mentioned this before but I work from home two days per week and it makes a HUGE difference. Part of this is because I prefer to work on my own schedule (I'd rather work from 10-12 at night than 8-10 in the morning, for example). When things are busy, I work more hours on my work from home days and when it's not busy, it's not as big of a deal to not be at my desk. I generally try to schedule appointments for those two days and nobody really knows or cares. Also, comfy clothes - YES!
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Re: Reduced Hours - Part Time

Postby coree730 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:53 pm

I did! After baby #2 came, I started working only 24 hours a week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). I tell you what. I really enjoy it. I am lucky though. I work for a small family owned business and my boss was very cool about it. I can even change the days around if need be. I love spending more time with my kids and love getting errands done on Monday or Friday. My 5 year old goes to a University Model School ( 3 days a week regular school and 2 days homeschool ) and it works great with my schedule.
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