Changing from full-time to part-time - Can you share your work patterns with me to help me with my options?

(24 Posts)
hotmama Sun 10-Feb-13 19:32:42

Hi, currently work full-time but want to change to drop some hours - at least a day but not to go completely half-time. At the moment we are going through a restructure at work so now is the opportune moment to put a bid in (I'm 'safe' in the structure). smile

Not wanting to out myself, I'm very lucky as my job deals with schools so having time off in school holidays (although not all) is workable.

I have primary aged children and it's just too hard working full-time - I want to have some time with them (and for myself) during the week - sick of them having to do breakfast and after school school clubs most days. sad

I don't want to work FT any more but I do still want to work IYKWIM - I know I'm lucky having this dilemma! confused

I need to consider the options - so if you don't work full-time, can you share your work patterns and what works? smile

Any contributions will be gratefully received (even bad points)

hotmama Sun 10-Feb-13 19:47:41

bump smile

playftseforme Sun 10-Feb-13 19:56:36

Hi
At the risk of outing myself, I work 4 days but three in the office from 8.30 to 4.30 (so I'm home for bath time - I commute...) and one 8.30 to 12 ish in the office and one 9.30 to 1.00 from home. It's a bit rubbish for me, but it means that we have a nanny for 3 days, on one day dh drops of dd at school and dts at nursery (school day) and I collect, and on the day I work from home I do the drop off and pick up. It sounds complicated but I get to see more of all of the children this way, rather than the normal 4 days straight in the office when I would see the dts but not my school age dd as much. It has got easier since everyone at work has got their head around the arrangement. It's better for work too because I am officially available every day.
Not sure it's a blueprint anyone would want to copy but it's the best I've managed to engineer!

MarianMaudsley Sun 10-Feb-13 20:00:06

i currently work 2.5 days, and am about to go up to 3.5
TBH i hate working a half-day - I never seem to be as productive.
I used to work 3 days - Tues, Thurs and Fri, and this was the best pattern for me.
I am really lucky though, in that I can do the morning school run before work, even though this means I don't start until about 9.15.

tri10 Sun 10-Feb-13 20:04:55

I work 28 hours a week over three days, and set it like thisaround a nursery day so i could drop at 7.30 and pick up at 6. I think long days work fine for pre-schoolers but wouldn't work school aged children. With dd1 I worked tue,we'd,fri thinking it would not work 3 in a row and didn't want to work Monday, but now with dd2 I have gone back on a flexible basis and I pick my three days around my husbands shifts. And actually find 3 days in row much better, and working Monday also better asyou catch with everyone at the same
Time where as by Tuesday they are already caught up iykwim. The only thing to watch if working mondays is you might lose some holiday If they

Oodsigma Sun 10-Feb-13 20:09:28

Don't do a half day as you'll/theyll be tempted to stay longer 'until its finished' plus its extra travel if you commute.
I changed to alternate weeks 2 days/3days

OneLieIn Sun 10-Feb-13 20:11:37

Depends on the job you do as to whether full days work better for you or half days. Also then depends on which days. In my place, Friday is v quiet naturally so p/t who take Friday sometimes feel they are hard done by.

BestIsWest Sun 10-Feb-13 20:14:43

I currently work 5 days, dropping to 4 soon. Going to have Wednesdays off. I've previously had Fridays off but that sort of merged into the weekend. Friday's not a bad day to be in work as everyone's in weekend mode. I like the idea of Wednesdays breaking the week up.

When DCs were younger I did 6 hours a day 5 days a week so I could either drop them off or pick up from school.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 10-Feb-13 20:23:44

I work 25 hrs over 3 days, 2 'normal' days, 1 long day. I work tues/wed/frid which works out well for bank holidays (I don't have to use my hol hrs for Mondays) and also means I can take a Friday off for a long w/e over holidays, leaving only 2 days DD has to go to either CM or holiday club. I've done other patterns - mon/tues/wed and mon/wed/fri but my current set up is the best for me/DD.

ceeveebee Sun 10-Feb-13 20:28:13

I work 3 days, Tues-Thurs, and am out of the house from 8am till 630pm on those days. We have a nanny for our preschool twins otherwise it would be a real struggle to make it work, I've been late home a few times due to train issues and would be a nightmare if I had to get to a nursery to collect them.
Three consecutive days work well for me as I can really focus and then enjoy my days off, but not sure it's really best for my employer, think they'd prefer me to be in every other day.

When they go to preschool / school I'll need to reconsider and maybe do 4 short days instead so I can try to be home a bit more.

BikeRunSki Sun 10-Feb-13 20:37:10

I work 8-4, Wed-Fri. My DC are 4 and 1. I love my hours (DH does nursery drop off), love working Friday rather than Monday (Friday feeling rather than Monday blues...) and like that the balance of my DCs's week is at home rather than nursery.

BackforGood Sun 10-Feb-13 20:37:29

I've always done 3 full days since I went PT some 14 yrs ago. Worked different days as different times for different reasons, but I'd definitely suggest you go for a clean break and have working days and non-working days. That way, you can actually get something useful done in the 6 hrs your dc are in school - be that Christmas shopping, cutting the lawn or a bit f decorating - you can't do those things in the hour between getting home and collecting your dc if you opt for working mornings.
As your dc are at school, then you'll probably find a lot of their 'things' happen on a Friday, so it's quite a nice day to be around at home, for assemblies, etc. However, quite a lot of workplaces have slightly more relaxed days on Fridays, so that might be a nicer day to work.
I find (and this sounds a bit ridiculous, but it's true) I get FAR more 'stuff' done on a Monday - be it house work, paperwork or whatever jobs I need to do, as I think of it as a working day, but on a Friday I think I relax into weekend mode and never seem to get as much done. Obviously, this could just be me grin
Check out how your annual leave works. When I worked in school, Monday was a good day to have as a working day, as quite often BHs fall on a Monday, and often there'd be training days on a Monday, or, if term starts part way through the week, the Monday would be in the hols. Since I've been out of school though, it was "expensive" in terms of holidays used to work on a Monday.... you have to take a full day off for a BH (at least 4 of which are always on a Monday), yet you are only credited with 3/5 of them in your annual leave. By not working a Monday, you gain extra holiday.
I also agree with others that a 1/2 day is just a hassle - you still need to have all the childcare for that half of the day, and it's difficult to leave work on time when everyone else is still working... you think "Oh, I'll just finish...". Better not to be in there at all, or to be paid for the full day.
Does depend a bit on your job though - do you have team meetings on one day, or are there 'busier' days ?

ceeveebee Sun 10-Feb-13 20:57:42

backforgood I'm the same - Monday is my 'sort the house out' and Friday my fun day

SeeYouSoon Sun 10-Feb-13 20:59:58

I do 3.5 days, it works really well for us.

olivo Sun 10-Feb-13 21:04:23

I went from full time to 4 days, having a day off in the middle of the week. I then spent a year working 4.5 days but did the same amount of work as the Ftimers but for less pay, so I am now FT again. Chaotic on the home front but no more work than I was doing as a pPtimer.

Just be careful you don't do more work than you should, I often had to remind people I was PT, as it is not common where I work.

CitizenOscar Sun 10-Feb-13 21:08:08

4 days a week; Thursdays off. Means I get a day with DS in the week but still finish all my work ahead of the weekend. Would consider 3 days after next maternity leave but would be much more difficult to keep up at work.

hotmama Sun 10-Feb-13 22:48:49

All good stuff - so thanks very much. smile

Although, I have 2 primary age children, I also have my youngest who starts school in Sept sad.

I found it workable when they were at nursery but a lot harder when at school - homework, after school clubs etc. Also, I can never do tea for friends during the week - any playdates are at the weekend - I never have enough time.

I need (want) to be around more, soon they will be in their teens and flying the nest - when I'm 70 I won't be thinking "I wished I'd worked more " will I? - but it's highly likely that I will regret having some quality time with my children.

I think the idea of having Friday as a work day sounds good.

Also, if I was going to a half day e.g. 3.5, I was thinking of doing 3 days one week and 4 the next - this arrangement would work. I can also work at home sometimes so happy to 'put the hours in' if necessary.

All good ideas, any more? smile

neversaydie Sun 10-Feb-13 22:53:24

I work the equivalent of 85% full time, but over an agreed number of days per year, which I mostly work during term times. (I do one day a week from home or the office during the long summer holiday.) It was the only way it would work for me, because when I am working I do a fair amount of long-distance travel. Weekends I am away count as work days, as do travel days.

It works well for me, but I am prepared to check mail etc when I am off. I love the edge of extra control the arrangement gives me over my life, and have no scruples about refusing to travel during school holidays. It seems to be working well for my employers as well - I manage a team based in the UK and the USA, and I was promoted last summer.

AmandaPayne Sun 10-Feb-13 22:58:14

Once your youngest is in school, the alternating 3/4 thing could work well, as long as the breakfast and after school clubs can manage. Before that it seems to generally result in shelling out for childcare four days a week without being paid. Although, if you can afford it, that day a fortnight could be a good jobs day to free up time with all three of them?

If you can work from home, can you also be flexible about working hours? When i did some time from home, I found stopping for tea and finishing off after bed was quite good.

I think an actual half day is only really worth it if you can do it from home or have a very short commute. Otherwise it is practically a full day by the time you've added that in. Also, if you can work from home, think about your half day being (depending on when your youngest is around or at pre-school) an afternoon. It is much easier to not start work until an agreed time than it is to stop in the middle of something because the half day is up - unless it ties in with a fixed point like school pick up.

I worked a 3 day week for a while. Didn't get on with it as I found myself quite disconnected at work and frustrated at keeping on missing meetings, being asked to switch days etc. I now work 4 days Mon-Thu and it suits me far better. I love my Fridays and find it just enough to keep connected with my DC's and friends.

Imo it's best to take Friday off - most part-timers are off on Friday so it's a good day to catch up with other school mums, and you rarely miss anything important at work.

Charmingbaker Sun 10-Feb-13 23:08:13

I have a 0.5 contract and work 5 half days. I love it. My commute is less than 5 mins so I'm in work for 8am and home by 12.15 pm. DH has kids til 9am when nanny comes for 2yo (DS1 already at school). It means we only pay for 15 hrs childcare. It works well for the DCs as they have the same routine every day, and when DS2 is in school we won't need any childcare.

hotmama Sun 10-Feb-13 23:18:36

I thought Sunday night would be a good night to post grin

The breakfast and after school club is really good about being flexible - and don't charge if i don't use it. I do chop & change depending on mine and dp's diaries.

I like the idea of annualised hours, so can do more or less depending on the workload - also having some contact during school holidays - oh yes, I check my blackberry!!!!!

I think 75% which is 3.75 days but have the hours annualised may work? I think planning a fixed day off sounds good - but more likely to be agreed if I'm flexible about changing it now and again?

This would let me have one clear day off a week and flexible hours to do some drop offs/ pick ups - I don't have to travel far to work and/or these could be days when I work at home. Or I could save up the time and have another occasional day at home (useful for things like school holidays/Christmas shopping)

Quite prepared to do a few hours in the evening esp if dp is away - so this is a bit more flexible isn't it?

I'm getting quite excited now! smile

Mandy21 Sun 10-Feb-13 23:35:42

I work 3 days - originally did Tues - Thurs which I liked but wasn't great work wise as I was out of the office from a Thursday pm to Tuesday am, so after a bout of maternity leave, went back Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. That just felt a really long week and not having a run of 3 consecutive days made the work week just unproductive. I now do Wednesday - Friday.

As others have suggested - check how bank holidays work in your firm. I get 60% of the bank holidays (as I do a 60% contract) added to my annual leave - so I get 0.6 x 8 days added on. If a bank holiday falls on a work day, I then have to use a day's annual leave. This is quite "costly" if you work Mondays, as a lot of the bank holidays are Mondays. I actually end up with more days to use when I choose by not working a Monday.

I do 8.30 - 4pm officially with 30mins for lunch but I generally start by 7.30am and never take a lunch break (my H does the nursery / school run) on the 3 mornings I work. On 2 days I leave at 4pm on the dot as I do collection. On Fridays my H collects and I stay late, probably until 7-8pm just to catch up on things. He then starts earlier / works later on the days that I'm at home.

Half days wouldn't work for me as I have a long commute, but I would definitely consider it if I could work from home.

ThisIsMummyPig Sun 10-Feb-13 23:39:45

I do Monday, Tuesday, every other wednesday. It's fab, because Wednesdays are always a bonus. If I'm working them it's amazing how much work I can clear, as I deal with all the crap on Mondays, and then the urgent stuff, and then I get into the 'real' work by about Monday afternoon.

When I'm at home they're great as I have childcare, so I'm all on my own and can do housework in peace.

I would not want to do half days, unless I could do them working from home.

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