Men at (part-time) work

Business men with colorful socks working at home

News & Insights

MoneyPlus Features Team

29th June 2016 at 10:19am

The world of part-time work is no longer a female dominated habitat as more men than ever seek to shun the 9-5 in favour of more flexible work patterns.

According to a report recently published by UKCES (UK Commission for Employment and Skills) a larger number of men are choosing either to work part-time or as part of a job share.

Between now and 2024 the number of male part-time workers is expected to rise by about 20%, that’s nearly half a million more men striving for a better work-life balance.

What’s driving this?

The drivers for increased part-time work appear to be changing. While the drive for traditional part-time work appears to have been largely around fitting the need to work around the need to look after dependents, the current drivers may be around choosing a better work-life balance.

“Flexibility is becoming attractive to men who are trying to balance their family and work life”- Lesley Giles

“Flexibility is becoming attractive to men who are trying to balance their family and work life”, said Lesley Giles, research director at UKCES. “The increase in men working flexible hours has been catalysed by the right to shared parental leave, but seems to be gaining traction. Coupled with other changes, like the growth of jobs in sectors traditionally dominated by women, this could represent a real change in the way people work and the way we understand gender roles in the labour market”.

A boardroom shuffle

What is interesting about the forecast in the rise of men in part-time work is that the jobs are not tending to be those that have traditionally been part-time. It is forecast that there will be a 25% increase in the number of men in professional or management roles becoming part-time. This suggests that we are not going to have a straightforward exchange of female part-timers for male part-timers — something more complex is happening.

Changes in the workplace may be having some impact on this burgeoning trend.

Employers are finding that attracting the best employees for their higher paid roles is not solely about money any more but also about offering a package of incentives including more flexibility in hours worked so that employees have time for their out-of-work activities. Social, sporting and leisure activities may now have a much greater role in the lives of employees than they did a generation ago and those who can afford it are demanding a better balance between their work lives and their social lives.

The ability to be able to work from home, down to increased levels of connectivity to the office, has made it much easier for people to work part-time or change their work patterns.

Technology is making it easier too. The ability to be able to work from home, down to increased levels of connectivity to the office, has made it much easier for people to work part-time or change their work patterns.

Increased opportunities

As more men begin part-time roles and the type of work both men and women are doing is ever diversifying, the pool of jobs that will be shareable will continue to grow. More part-time working men is great news for us all.

With part-time working numbers rising and employers being more open to the idea, if you’re looking to find that work-life balance, it’s always worth asking if a role is available on a job share basis.

Sharing the burden

Progressive companies are often set up to enable work share. Usually, there is already a culture of work-sharing anyway.

In this case, the job itself may already have a job sharing element built in. Where it does not, you need someone to share with. In essence, you need to demonstrate that your job can be shared and also, suggest how it could work, either by working with an existing employee, or by bringing someone in.

Both you and your employer need to be satisfied that the job will be adequately covered with no disruption to the task in hand. In addition, you and the other employee must be committed to making it succeed.

If you want to find out more about job sharing and its intricacies its worth visiting the GOV.UK site where they have produced a guide to job sharing.

Finding the right balance

So with part-time work on the increase, job sharing on the up and employers increasingly receptive  to the idea (whatever your grade), finding the correct life-work balance has become easier. What’s more, should you decide to opt for part-time, you may even find yourself in a lower income bracket and have the satisfaction of not paying quite so much tax too – always nice!

Join the conversation and follow us on twitter @StandardLifeUK and Facebook.

This information in this article is correct as of June 2016 and should not be regarded as financial advice.

Have you got something to say but feel shy? You can comment anonymously, simply enter your comment, your name and click the ‘I’d rather post as a guest’ option.