Job-sharing hits new heights: study

The latest Timewise Power Part Time List suggests flexible working is now more commonplace at every level.

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As well as a record number of job shares, Timewise reported an increase on last year of 5.7 per cent of people working part-time on a formal basis in higher income brackets. According to Timewise’s data, 773,000 people now work part-time and earn more than £40,000 per year (full-time equivalent).The social business and campaigner for more flexible work’s study also suggests this figure could rise again. More than two in five (46%) employees and owners involved in hiring would consider hiring candidates for a senior role as part of a job-share arrangement.

Glimpse of the future?

Across the UK’s labour market more widely, over 8.5 million people are working part-time hours. This group accounts for one in four of all UK workers. Previous research from Timewise suggests significant and relatively untapped latent demand for more flexible working practices.Commenting on the findings, Timewise co-founder & joint CEO Karen Mattison, MBE, says: “The dramatic increase in job shares on this year’s Power Part Time List offers us a glimpse into how jobs will be designed in the future.“All it takes is an open-minded employer who is prepared to try something new in a bid to hire or keep the best people, and an innovative solution is born.“I am delighted that the conversation is moving away from why people need to work flexibly, to how businesses and individuals are making it work.”

Winning by working flexibly

Recognising the sometimes bold moves individuals and employers are willing to take to break the mould and help make part-time roles work for everyone, Timewise compiles an annual Power Part Time List to share the experiences of 50 companies and individuals devising new ways of getting jobs done.Topping the list, now in its fifth year, are Angela Kitching and Hannah Pearce, head of media affairs at Age UK, followed by Laurie Padua, global director of technology, talent strategy at Alexander Mann Solutions, and Marie Jannsen, trend director of Amazon Fashion.

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Representing people working across the public, private and third sector, the list highlights the examples of Green Party of England and Wales joint leaders, Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley, joint political editors at the Guardian, Anushka Asthana and Heather Stewart, and former rugby player Matt Dawson, director of business at The Instant Group.To celebrate those "climbing the career ladder while working part time," Timewise also publishes a list of people to watch. This year, Laura McKim of Mercer features for how she successfully combines responsibility for winning new business and contributing to the strategic development of initiatives within Mercer such as When Women Thrive, which provides solutions both for clients and internally.

Employer support for flexible working

Explaining the importance of flexible working practices, Tim Rodber, CEO at workspace procurement company The Instant Group, says: “The workspace of the future is going to see people working in very different ways. Both large and small companies are attracting employees that want to work more flexibly. Workers want more choice and this includes where and when they work. It is encouraging to see the variety of companies featured on today’s new Power Part Time list – those who retain the best talent have already recognised the significant change in the way we want to work.”Commenting on European innovation marketing director Louise Cruttenden’s top 15 place in the power list, Andrew Porter, head of talent engagement at Diageo, an international beverage company, says: “The importance of flexibility in the workplace, ensuring that our people have the freedom to succeed, is one of the central tenets of our culture at Diageo. Companies that reframe quality part time and flexible working as business critical, rather than a personal lifestyle preference, will be the ones that stay ahead of the curve.”

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