Episode 190 | How To Make Part-time Work For You | Belinda Morgan

How can we design part-time roles so they work for organisations and individuals?

Belinda Morgan is a leadership and flexible work expert who has recently written a book called, Solving the part-time problem: How to decrease your hours, increase your impact and thrive in a part-time role.

So why is part-time work such an important option for organisations and individuals?

Why has it, historically, suffered such a jarring reputation in the workplace?

And most importantly – how can we design part-time roles so they are a valuable experience for employees and organisations?

Lessons Learned

It’s important to have a practical framework to help support organisations and individuals who want to make part-time roles work. But Belinda’s work also aims to change minds – to convince the sceptics of the importance of part-time roles.

The benefits of part time roles:

  • family well-being
  • diversity and inclusion
  • gender equity – getting more women in senior management

Women have done all the heavy lifting in putting the case for part-time roles, but Belinda thinks it’s time for the conversation to go broader. It’s not just about helping mums return to work after parental leave.

Studies tell us that a lot of men wold like to work part-time, for a range of reasons. But it is currently difficult for men to access part-time roles.

It’s also important for family wellbeing. 

Common experiences for part-time roles

People who work part-time report these common experiences:

  • My workload din’t change
  • Always checking emails and taking calls on non-work days – difficult to switch off
  • Company is supportive in principle, but no one knows how to make it work. I’m supposed to come up with the solutions
  • Can’t see opportunities for progression as a part-timer
  • Biggest and most interesting projects go to full timers
  • Working myself into the ground and still don’t feel like I’m doing a good enough job at work or at home

Myths about part-time roles

These myths about part-time roles persist in many organisations:

  1. Part-timers aren’t serious about their careers
  2. Part-time work is a perk that should be earned, not something that should be offered to everyone
  3. Our customers require us to be available full-time
  4. There’s nowhere for the extra work to go
  5. Having a team member working part-time is not fair to the rest of the team
  6. People leader roles can’t be done part-time
  7. Even if middle management roles can be done part-time, executive and senior leadership roles definitely can’t be

Belinda acknowledges that there are a lot of reasons people think part-time roles cannot be successful, but she argues that if we just think a little creatively, there’s an answer to all of the challenges.

Belinda firmly believes that we must include senior leadership roles in the part-time conversation – not just the worker roles. Because:

  • senior leaders are people too – they have needs outside of their professional world
  • it sets a a positive example within organisations – if we can make part-time work well at the most senior levels, then we can make it work for any role

If it’s not role-modelled from the top, people may be stuck thinking their is no real permission within the organisation and that they cannot progress in their career if they are working part-time.

5 Levers for successful part-time roles

Belinda says that in order to make your part-time role successful you need to work on these 5 levers:

  1. Build your conviction – get crystal clear on why you value part-time work and how it can benefit those around you, including your organisation
  2. Scope your role – set yourself up for success by scoping your role to the right size
  3. Optimise your time – implement systems for optimising your work time and protecting your non-work time
  4. Lead with leverage – turn your people leader role into an asset that underpins your success in your part-time role
  5. Be an advocate – become a champion for part-time work within your workplace and beyond

Nuggets of gold:

  1. Don’t be grateful for your part time role – it’s not a favour. It’s a legitimate way to work. Be confident.
  2. It is possible! The myth that says it’s not possible to have a career-worthy part time role is exactly that, a myth. You must believe that it is possible.
  3. This is an issue for everyone – not just mums and dads with young children. We’re all searching for a more balance and fulfilling life and maybe a part-time role is perfect for you!


Connect with Belinda:

 Belinda Morgan is a leadership and flexible work expert, passionate about helping organisations and individuals successfully embed flexible work arrangements that benefit everyone. She has seen firsthand how cultures that glorify overwork and prioritise profits above all else can damage wellbeing, productivity and results. Belinda also knows the enormous positive impact of finding fulfilling and flexible work. Solving the Part-Time Puzzle is her first book. 

 Media Information 

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