Working Part Time, Good Question!

Going back to school, personal project, health problems… These are some reasons that could lead you to want a part-time schedule. How do you put the big request to your boss? Some ways to go about it…

Choose the right time
“It’s not a wish that you make in public. It’s out of the question to try to convince your employer in a group at lunchtime, for example,” says Marie-Hélène Robert, CRIA and founder of Pivo-RH. An appropriate time should rather be chosen, such as an annual assessment or a formal meeting.

Prepare for the meeting
It’s important not to underestimate the value of an action plan, such as a list of points to raise during the discussion. “It’s essential to approach the subject transparently, mentioning the reasons for your choice and the benefits for both parties. If the employee plans to return to school it can be viewed very positively,” says Marie-Hélène Robert.

Confirm interest in the company
Is wanting to work less a sign of demotivation? “No! If an employee proposes it, it’s because they want to continue with the company. Sometimes it’s even cyclical, depending on personal obligations or desires,” says Marie-Hélène Robert. In fact, people who work less are generally more productive. “The employee must emphasize their love for the work, as well as the potential optimization of their tasks — which would make a new hire unnecessary. They can also ensure that they will be available during busier periods.”

Getting ahead of the boss’s concerns
“The decision can be insecure for the employer,” points out Marie-Hélène Robert. Will the equilibrium be affected? Will he have to hire a new resource? The employee must first recall their experience and interest in training a new person if needed. “He can also ask the employer if he has ever thought about a part-time work policy, so that they can fit such a request in better and what might follow,” she adds.

Managing emotions
“Just as it is legitimate for the employee to express their wish, it is also legitimate for the boss to refuse him. Some positions just don’t lend themselves to it,” indicates Marie-Hélène Robert. “I do not advise going as far as threatening to quit at the first discussion. It’s possible to find another job, but it’s better to do so on good terms to preserve you reputation.” What if the boss reacts emotionally? “I suggest the employee gives him time to reflect calmly.” Who knows, it could lead to the result of a nice “yes”!

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