Bijal reflects on the benefits she’s experienced working part-time.
I work part-time for Rambutan. During the rest of my time, I run a community newspaper and an environmental organisation. I also tutor A-level physics and volunteer for the Scouts… I like to keep myself busy!
I’m often asked how I manage to juggle so much. Although it sounds like a lot, all my paid work adds up to pretty much the same number of hours as a full-time job. My volunteering is flexible, so it fits around my paid work and family commitments. Of course, I do have to be extremely organised to keep on top of my commitments. It’s only possible to achieve all this by prioritising and managing my time carefully, in the same way you might manage the various tasks and projects within your job.
Technology gives me access to a range of tools to help with this, but a key element is building trusting relationships within the teams that I work in. There’s always so much to do and I can’t do it all, but we have things in place to help with diary management and to pick up emails when I’m not around. For example, at Rambutan we have an agreed way to manage diaries. This gives everyone full visibility of my workload and queries can be dealt with outside of my working hours. We empower each member of the bunch and communicate effectively. When I log off for the week, I have full trust in the bunch, so I don’t have to worry while I’m working elsewhere. When I’m back in, everything is running smoothly and I can slot straight into whatever exciting projects we’re delivering! Not only am I not stressed, but our agreed ways of working reduce stress for the rest of the bunch.
It’s only recently that I’ve changed my working life. Back in 2020, I worked full-time for one company, with traditional hours, in the office. I’d always wanted to move to a ‘portfolio career’ (as it’s often known), but fear held me back. The world of work has changed so much in the last few years with organisations embracing this change. Employees can benefit from flexible working to have a better work-life balance and employers now have a much wider group of people to recruit from.
What can you do in your team to reduce feeling stressed and overworked? Is there anything you need to do differently in a world of flexible working and non-traditional hours?