Part-Time Predjudice

Last week one of my colleagues told me of the attitude of some male co-workers to me and my job.

„She’s never here when I come into her office“ said one on a Friday. I haven’t work on Fridays since 2008.

„How is she  supposed to manage this project when she’s not here?“ said another when I was working from home because of a sick child. I still held my meetings, by phone and web meeting rather than in person but that didn’t interest him.

„What if I need to contact her in the evening?“  asked another. It is not company policy to contact staff out of hours, so he would still have this issue even if I worked full time. Regardless, I have my work mobile with me all the time. All he’d have had to do was phone me.

I’m very rarely sick. I work from home when my children are sick instead of taking the days off that I am entitled to take. I don’t build up a huge amount of overtime by simply staying in the office for as long as I feel like. I fly through my work and leave in a rush to get to the school gate.

All in all I and millions of part-time workers like me are ideal employees – effective, to the point, getting the job done and working family life around office rules. So why is it that people love to pick holes in our work model and assume that home office days are spent drinking coffee and keeping an eye on the mobile in case it rings?

The cynical part of me might say that, being full time employees with nothing to rush home to, they have the time to be lesss structured, to forget that not everyone is there all day every day.

The friendly part of me blocks out the begrudgers and concentrates on doing my job. The people that matter sppreciate my work and that’s all that matters really. Well, that and the pay check each month.

Have you encountered any opposition from co-workers, other parents or anyone else regarding your choicde of work model? I doubt I am alone in this.


9 thoughts on “Part-Time Predjudice

  1. I totally agree. Having been both employer and employee people who have somewhere else to get to – whether they are parents or just people with non-work related demands on their time, are the most efficient workers. Feck the begrudgers. You’re clearly doing absolutely fine.

    1. Thanks Helen. I know some people are just there to out in the time but, like you, in my experience the majority seem to get their work done in the allotted time.

  2. It’s that insular and unimaginative culture of presenteeism. I’m surprised to hear this from Germany. Just goes the stereotypical image of other nations being ahead of the curve can’t be taken for granted. The most frustrating thing is that this pettiness is just the small guy giving the other small guy grief. Employers generally get their worth from employees. That said, part-timers and full-timers are as diverse a group as any other in terms of efficient working. The luck of having a conscientious employee on reduced hours is usually on the side of the employer since more often than not.. they get a full-time job out of them in less hours.

    1. Germany is a lot less progressive than Ireland from what I have seen. When I came here first I was absolutely shocked at the lack of women in management positions or even team leader level.

  3. I work 4 days and I manage expectations that I’m not available at all on my day off, it’s hard though, especially as mine is midweek and of something comes up just after I log off on Tuesday clients can’t cope with the idea of waiting til Thursday morning for a response. I usually check my emails on my day off and reply to the more urgent ones. There’s a huge prejudice to part time employees and to working parents who shock, leave on time due to childcare, and it drives me crazy. Seems it’s not just the case in Ireland!!

    1. No, it is definitely not just the case in Ireland. Sure here people just assumed I would give up work altogether once I had my first child. “I hear you are leaving us” a few (men) said to me. The attitude to part-timers is awful. The expectation of a lot of people is either that you can only do a basic job or that you will be available on your day off.

  4. Interesting that all of the complaining colleagues seem to have been men.
    I moved to working part-time recently and when I tried to explain to a former colleague from the company I used to work for (a more than full-time, crazy stressful job) that I could almost achieve as much in four hours at my new job than I used to in six or seven hours at the old one, she didn’t believe me either. If you sit down at the desk, look at the clock and realise you’ll be leaving again in just a few hours, you’d better believe that it gives you laser sharp focus! Luckily I now work in a place where there are very few full-time jobs, so at least I don’t have to put up with any nonsense from current colleagues.

    1. Exactly. When you know you have to leave at a certain time then you just have to get the head down and plough through it.

  5. I get done in 4-5 hours what my husband does in 7. We have comparable jobs, but he’s in an office, and I mostly work from home. He goes to work for the social life! I have to thank my boss when I went back to work after DD. It was a management position and I job-shared with another mum. My boss was very keen on getting women back in to work, however it worked for them, which made us so grateful and so keen to do a good job. If only more employers and co-workers understood that. I was fulfilled at work and getting a pay cheque, and I got to spend time with DD.

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