The traditional ways of working are being challenged and it’s not just by employees. Smart businesses are challenging the status quo to make sure they attract and retain the very best talent.

The offer of part-time, flexible work is growing (thankfully) and the results speak for themselves.

Research has shown that 25 hours is the optimal cognitive function for workers in a week, while research by Ernst & Young revealed that women in flexible roles (part-time, contract or casual) appear to be the most productive members of our workforce.

This part-time, somewhat hidden, workforce is jam-packed with experience, energy, drive and purpose. Whether it’s working parents, those with portfolio careers, entrepreneurs, professional sports people or anyone else who doesn’t want to, or can’t, clock a 40+ hour week, there is so much talent to be uncovered. And that is a pretty exciting prospect for a business. And an economy.

At Beam, we have the honour of talking to these amazing businesses and part-time professionals every day and we thought we’d share with you some of the tips they have given us for how to make part-time work…sustainably.

From our super smart talent

  • Talk to your employer about what works for both parties and consider it a work in progress. Know that adjustments may need to be made.
  • Be clear – include your working days on your email signature and voicemail.
  • Use your out of office for the days you are not working.
  • Look ahead and plan your meetings to make sure they are on your days in the office.
  • If working from home, have a dedicated working space, even if it’s just clearing the table before you start.
  • Talk to your team about how and when you work. See what you need to do as a team to make it work for everyone.
  • Set realistic delivery timeframes, taking into account your non work days.
  • Don’t leave things to the last minute – you never know what is going to crop up.
  • If you find yourself squishing 5 days’ work into 3, that means your role isn’t scoped properly for part-time. Have a chat to your manager about your job design to make sure you’re doing the highest value work.
  • Look after yourself.

From our super smart businesses

  • Look at the scope of every role you are managing and challenge yourself – does it need to be done full-time or maybe it can be split across two people – double the experience, networks and energy!
  • Take the time to understand what your part-time employee is doing on their non work days — it will help you work together to find the best arrangement and also makes life a lot more interesting.
  • Scope the role properly for the number of days/hours agreed and set in place goals/objectives based on this. Have 6 month check-ins.

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