The desire for part-time work is increasing – even at management level. However, most employers are still of the opinion that management positions can only be performed full-time. This blog article therefore highlights the advantages and disadvantages of part-time management.
More time for family, hobbies or voluntary work are among the most common reasons and greatest advantages of part-time work. It is not only the work-life balance that plays a role, but also the opportunity for further education. The shift in priorities from professional matters to personal matters is known as ‘downshifting’. Part-time management is also a good career opportunity for women.
If part-time management is carried out in the form of a top-sharing model, the division of management tasks avoids potential overload. This co-operation enhances the certainty of decision making and offers learning opportunities. Shared responsibility reduces individual burdens and minimises the risk of abuse of power. In addition, the top sharing partners can exchange ideas on an equal footing. Mutual substitution can also be organised simply and easily.
Companies offer part-time management positions for various reasons. Part-time management represents a promising opportunity for employee retention. The possibility of part-time management helps companies to attract new employees by presenting themselves as a modern company with a contemporary management culture. If the company finds itself in a critical economic phase, part-time work, including at management level, can be used as an alternative to downsizing. Due to their limited time, part-time managers require careful planning and self-organisation, which leads to increased productivity. Part-time leadership reduces unproductive time and absenteeism, which also reduces the number of sick days. Part-time management helps to reduce physical and mental stress, especially due to overtime. Furthermore, part-time employees often show a high level of commitment and motivation, which in turn has a positive effect on work performance and quality.
Part-time employment is usually associated with a lower income and fewer development opportunities. Part-time employees are promoted less frequently and take part in training programmes less often than full-time employees. Managers who work part-time in particular are often confronted with a lack of respect and acceptance on the part of employees and colleagues. Acceptance of part-time managers is particularly low if they reduce their working hours due to more personal time and not due to their family situation. Part-time managers are often not optimally integrated into the informal network of an organisation and are therefore often dependent on comprehensive information being passed on. The lack of time for networking activities can also lead to disadvantages for the manager. Part-time managers are also often confronted with prejudices. Superiors and colleagues tend to assume that responsible tasks cannot be carried out part-time. Part-time managers often try to compensate for their reduced presence by being available on their private phones.
Part-time managers are less frequently available, which increases the complexity of making appointments. The limited availability also affects workflows and communication processes. Further training for part-time managers is also considered more expensive, as the costs are amortised later than for a full-time position. In addition, many companies still assume that a management position must involve long working hours, geographical mobility and networking after work.
Finally, it should be noted that for most part-time managers, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. If part-time management is well planned and prepared, this working model offers a development opportunity for the company and the managers. The factors for successful implementation will be explained in the next blog post.
Article written by: Sophia Dielacher, CFR Global Executive Search Austria
Pictures: TRESCON, shutterstock