Advanced search

mumsnet work

Find the perfect family friendly job

Which part time days are best (for you)?!

(32 Posts)
ClearlyMoo Sun 02-Nov-14 12:19:05

Hi all

I'll be going back to work next year. Work are pretty flexible and so is the nursery (at the mo) have one DD now 5months.

I just wondered which days people work and which days they wished they worked.

I'm thinking about doing 60 or 70% of full time

So either three full days Mon/Tue/Thu

Or two full days (Mo/Th) a short day (Tu) and a half day (Fr)... (Short day and half day would be mainly aiming to WFH).

My job is such that it's project-based work so continuity throughout the week is important hence having a presence over four days.

Interested in your thoughts.

Cherrypi Sun 02-Nov-14 12:22:20

If there's one day where most things are shut locally work that day. I had Mondays off which was good because yay no Monday mornings but the library was shut Mondays, lots of shops were and there were no groups on that day.

Phineyj Sun 02-Nov-14 12:24:00

I think the second arrangement will lead, essentially, to working full time for part time money - speaking from bitter experience here! If you want to work something approaching the hours you're paid for, three days and a resolute avoidance of work phone calls and emails on the other two will probably work best - also, unless your nursery are unusually nice/undersubscribed, it will cost you more to get parts of 5 days than all of 3. I would try to avoid working from home when your daughter is there (if that's what you mean by working at home) as it is a lot easier to focus when you're only trying to do one thing.

Whyjustwhyagain Sun 02-Nov-14 12:26:45

Does your presence have to be physical? Or could you work from home for 1 of the days.
I work part time and although they would like to be in the office each day, even if it's just for the morning, I find that the added travel time (& fuel costs) mean I resent going in for a short day and would prefer to work from home.

OddFodd Sun 02-Nov-14 12:29:00

Totally agree with Phiney. Short and half days generally mean you end up working the whole day on those days and not getting paid.

And yes, also consider when groups etc are going on where you live.

I always had Wednesdays off because my job squeezes were always beginning/end of week and it was nice to have a break from getting us up/dressed/out the house in the middle of the week.

Phineyj Sun 02-Nov-14 12:34:02

Regarding the days, I used to work for an employer Mon, Wed, Thurs and then for myself Tue and Fri - I liked that as Tuesday felt like a bit of a rest, without the commute and I could take a long weekend now and again. I am now on an 80% ish contract as a teacher and have Friday mornings 'off' which I like as it means the work is front loaded to the start of the week when I have more energy and I can catch up in marking/planning on a Friday, making me feel less stressed as I go into the weekend. We find using nursery Mon, Thur, Fri is good as it gives a gap so that if DD is ill, there's a realistic chance of her being better by next nursery day. If your DD is ill with anything like D&V most nurseries will exclude for the following 48 hours.

PuppyMonkey Sun 02-Nov-14 12:54:46

Tues Weds Thurs was by far the best when I worked P/t. Got more done too as these are by far the core working days for most businesses IMHO.

Remember you'll get your pro rats Bank Holidays to take whenever you want too, if you don't work Mondays I mean.

PuppyMonkey Sun 02-Nov-14 12:55:18

Rata not rats. grin

Maki79 Sun 02-Nov-14 12:59:52

I also work 3 days a week in a project based job. For this reason, I never have 2 days 'off' in a row in case something comes up.
I work Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I love the Fridays as its dress down, often more relaxing, the office is quieter and everyone huggers off early ( I'm not supposed to because of my hours, but nobody would know if I did ;)

Maki79 Sun 02-Nov-14 13:00:38

Buggers.....although we have the occasional hug!

celestialsquirrels Sun 02-Nov-14 13:07:09

Tues wed thurs. Def take Fridays off because so many others do or work from home thAt you won't be missed, oddly. And take Mondays off because the middle of the week is the core work week and I think it is hopeless to have one day on one day off when it comes to work. You need a run of three days IMO.

ScottishDiblet Sun 02-Nov-14 13:44:14

Ooh I work three days a week and work wed-fri. It's perfect!! I have official cover for anythibg urgent Monday and Tuesday but I usually come in to a big backlog on Wednesday but it works itself out and I have finished my work by the end of Friday. I never have to work extra hours (although sometimes choose to if I'm going out for dinner one night) and never get called on my days off. Friday is a lovely day to work because everyone is happy and relaxed. There's a nice continuity to being at home with my daughter saturday-Tuesday. And then she has a day with my mum on wednesday and two days at nursery Thursday and Friday. It really works and we are all very happy. Good luck!

ClearlyMoo Sun 02-Nov-14 14:37:08

Very interesting thank you. Don't mean to drip feed but a bit more info about us...

Inlaws live semi detached and DH WFH (self-emp) so have good back up for illness etc.

My work is an hours commute away so need to avoid Friday (sadly as agree most fun day to work). Would WFH 1-2days a week but DD would be at nursery when I WFH as it's to avoid commute rather than be responsible for her... Nursery is close to home.

ClearlyMoo Sun 02-Nov-14 19:23:20

PhineyJ/OddFodd thanks for your feedback. That's effectively why I wouldn't do 4 days. Arghhh it's such a tricky balance to strike!!

JustAShopGirl Sun 02-Nov-14 19:28:31

Tue,Wed,Thur get a 4 day weekend, don't have the faffing about bank holiday Monday taking up more than it's share of leave days.

ClearlyMoo Sun 02-Nov-14 23:32:13

DH supportive of 70% based on DD being in nursery an extra half day... Really interested to hear others stories.

BackforGood Sun 02-Nov-14 23:49:03

I've worked 3 days for 16 year now.
I certainly wouldn't work it over 4 days - you spend 2 hours (if nothing goes wrong) commuting on top of your hours. You still have to get your dd all sorted and ready for Nursery. You won't ever be able to use that day to go out anywhere - it will just feel like a working day and you'll lose the benefit of not working FT.

Check how BHs work with your contract - for me, it's better to avoid working on a Monday as more BHs fall on a Monday than other days. You only get 3/5 of the hours as holiday, for each BH, but obviously you are off for the day, so end up eating into other holiday allowance. Whereas if you don't work Mondays, it feels like "extra" holiday.

Depends on your work as to which are best days to be there - also if you prefer to be there on a day that might be more relaxed, or a day that might be more 'manic'. Equally - do you need to meet with colleagues or clients? If so, are there set meeting days ? What about training - is that on certain days ?

Personally I love not having the "back to work" feeling on a Sunday night. I find I get so much more done (housework, or paperwork or shopping or whatever is needed) on a Monday, than I do on a Friday, when I seem to relax more and go into 'weekend mode'. I also think it's nice to have a Monday off as everywhere (hair appts, dentist, shops, etc) is less busy on a Monday - but you might find places shut on certain days at beginning of the week. I had a colleague who worked 4 days and took Wed off as she said it meant she 'kept going' and treated it as a working day and got lots done as it was in the middle of the week rather than tagged onto a weekend. Others say they like to compartmentalise more and have a '4 day weekend' and a '3 day working week' as 2 sep groups of days.

Sorry - can't decide for you, it's very personal. smile

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sun 02-Nov-14 23:56:27

I'd personally either do 3 or 4 days. Half days can be stressful where you are always clockwatching.

Even if you plan to WFH on the half day I guess you might have to go in for meetings etc? Then you will have your commute back to collect DD. It is worth checking the nursery policy on half days etc.

There is also the issue of leaving whilst everyone else is still there. I know we shouldn't buy into the 'presenteeism' game, but I prefered not to highlight my pt status where possible.

I would go for consecutive days.

Good luck.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 03-Nov-14 00:00:41

Sorry managed to not read your OP (and all the replies) properly - sorry! I would aim for full days not spead across the other days.

I think 3 full days is neater and easier for both you and your colleagues to get your head around.

If you have 4 'irregular' finish times you might spend all your time defending them from meetings of people that need a chat just as you are leaving etc.

Applejack2 Mon 03-Nov-14 20:19:33

I do full days Tues/Thurs and Fri. I used to do Tues/Weds/Thurs and found that the best but someone whinged and whinged at work as they wanted the Friday off so I ended up changing my days...gggrrrr
I would definitely not do Monday's due to the bank hols. I am NHS so would lose a week of holidays just to cover the bank hols. Some people work 4 full days and take the Wednesday off.

RaisingSteam Tue 04-Nov-14 00:10:18

I do Monday, Tuesday full days and Thurs/fri short days, it adds up to 70%. Now the Dc are at school it means I can pick up from after school club at 4.30 on Thurs/Fri and still have a fighting chance of getting to homework/football etc. When they were small and didn't do activities, longer days were easier. Now I can work my short days around school runs. So what suits now, you might change later.

It's also a project based job, nobody covers my time off so it helps to have the continuity. I couldn't be away from Thursday night to Tuesday morning.

People know that when I have to go, I really do have to go to collect the children, when it gets to the last half hour I'm careful of time or bring stuff home to finish. It's not great walking out whilst everyone else is beavering away but I just have to tough it out - being late for after school club is not an option! If it was a client I'd just say I have an appointment now but will ring back later if necessary.

lecherrs Tue 04-Nov-14 03:13:10

I've done a variety of different options when my DC were small.

My preference was to work mornings. I did 9 - 12 and had to collect DD from nursery at 1pm so always left on time. I liked that because if I collected her at 1, I had at least 6 hours every day to spend with my DD. It also allowed us to continue with all the activities / socialising in the afternoons and as DD got older, she had a morning nap but not afternoon so I always felt as though I wasn't missing much with her. However, this only works if you live close to work, as otherwise you'd be wasting too much time on commuting.

Next fave option was tues - thurs as this still allows for weekends away. However, if something goes wrong fri am it is a long time until you're back in again.

Third option was Mon, Tues, Thurs. I used to like having Fridays off to get the housework done so I could really enjoy the weekends. Then when I went back on Mon I never got that Monday feeling as I always thought it was just for two days... Wed is a great day off being mid week, and then you're only back in for one day.

But I'd start with looking at other commitments and build work around your other interests.

ClearlyMoo Tue 04-Nov-14 18:40:10

Wow. No one likes Mondays!! Our nursery doesn't charge for bank holidays.

The other issue is we seldom go away full stop and rarely at weekends as DH is a farmer!

Middleoftheroad Thu 27-Nov-14 20:27:55


I've tried all combination of p/t days in a couple of different jobs. I currently work M T break for Wed T and F (but I can work from home often) with a couple of core days in the office. I work a Monday because there is always a big meeting on that day - so as one other poster said, fit the days around when you know the workload will be more prominent.

I like this set up as I find we are quite organised on a Monday after the weekend house blitz, but come Weds, the house is upside down again. Hubby works long hours, so I am grateful for the break on a Weds, but make sure I meet my parents for lunch and do not spend the whole day tidying!

Previously, I worked a Mon, Wed and Fri, which worked well. Any more than one day's gap, resulted in a build-up of emails etc. (which I ended up checking on my days off - bad idea).

One resourceful friend decided to work on a Monday and Tuesday - on the basis that if she washed and straightened her hair on a Monday, it would still be good for Tuesday!

I've always tried to compress my work into longer days rather than short days, because of commuting and the inevitability, that even if you vow to just work a couple of hours, it never works out that way - the email black hole will suck you in!

Good luck :-)

Middleoftheroad Thu 27-Nov-14 20:28:41

sorry, meant I work every day apart from Weds (it didn't seem to read that way).

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: