The "Typical" Permanent Part-Time Employee*
*Averages and percentages are based upon 41,857 part-time permanent
employees as of March 1999.
Data Source: OPM's Central Personnel Data File (CPDF). Data includes
Federal civilian part-time employees in the executive branch but excludes
Postal Service employees.
a Full-time Job a Part-time Job*
Keep a detailed record of what you do.
- Could all your most important tasks be done in fewer hours?
- Could less important tasks be discontinued or done by someone else?
- Could your job be shared with another part-time employee?
Get information about your salary and benefits.
- Assess changes to salary, leave earning, health insurance cost,
and retirement and life insurance benefits.
- Could you afford to earn less pay and pay more for insurance?
- Could you do with less leave and potentially less retirement?
Research policies and practices.
- Study Governmentwide policies in this guide.
- Consult your supervisor about your agency's policies and programs.
- Talk to part-time employees about their experiences.
Devise a strategy.
- Propose restructuring your full-time job into a part-time job.
- Find a partner and propose a job sharing arrangement.
- Apply for any part-time/job sharing vacancies.
Make a written proposal.
- Propose a schedule and explain how your duties would be handled.
- Focus on employer's needs, not your own.
- Suggest a pilot test where managers, clients, and co-workers could
assess the arrangement.
*This information was adapted from Flexibility at Work ... 5 Steps To
Get You Started, a brochure produced by the Association of Part-time Professionals.
"I had a 3-year-old coming out of diapers and an 83-year-old
mother going into them . . . My four years of part-time management employment
have been superb. My director has been marvelous, and swears she had more
work from me in three days than some others in five."
"Being part-time in the same position that I had as
a full-time position has made a total difference in my outlook on work
and family life, and also has definitely affected my health. I am much
more productive while at work, and I am much happier at home . . ."
Source: Being a Part-time Manager in the U.S. Federal Government:
Some Evidence of "Win-Win" Outcomes by Phyllis Hutton Raabe,
Ph.D., Department of Sociology, University of New Orleans
"I need a professional life, but I also want to spend
extra time with my family. On a part-time schedule, I get the best of
Carol Hallowell, Office of Workforce Relations, U. S. Office
of Personnel Management
"Before we started stirring things up, we wanted to understand what
was possible. OPM was very helpful. They thought the process through with
us, and later used the flexibility of the system to support us. With our
senior management in the Department, whether because they could positively
relate to our situation or for other reasons, they asked, why not instead
"We had worked together before so we were accustomed
to working together; we just do it more now. More importantly, it has
expanded the dimension of the parenting role for both of us."
(Robert and Sue not only share a job, they share a marriage. Additionally,
they are members of the Senior Executive Service.)
"It's been great. The situation has been nothing but a plus for
me and the Department. Joan and Amy are both terrific employees and they're
great for this program. Initially, staff were concerned about reporting
to two supervisors, but it has worked out well. With the Ethics job, our
clients are, for the most part, the senior management. It's important
that when inquiries come in, the person representing the position is responsive."
Steven Y. Winnick
Supervisor of Two Job Sharers
Department of Education
"Competition was never an issue between us. It has
survived because we had similar priorities. Our priorities in job sharing
were to have time with our families."
Library of Congress
"It takes an extra effort to job share, but the advantages
to both the employee and the agency are great."
Library of Congress
(Nancy and Kim no longer job share. However, their tenure as job sharers
lasted 16 years at the Library of Congress.)
"People we work with have been accommodating about our arrangement,
which we appreciate. We also try to be flexible, taking calls at home and
coming in on our off-days if something is urgent. I recommend to anyone
considering job sharing that they find someone who thinks like them and
with whom they can communicate well".
"My overall impression is that part-time managers represent
a considerable bargain for the Federal Government. Highly motivated individuals
following a part-time schedule on their own initiative tend to accomplish
a larger workload than is commensurate with the reduced hours. This is
done because the individual has a personal motivation to make the work
arrangement succeed and to be viewed as successful while working on a
part-time basis. My experience is one of working more effectively and
reducing to a minimum the 'down' time that most employees take as a matter
of course on the job. . . "
Source: Being a Part-time Manager in the U.S. Federal
Government: Some Evidence of "Win-Win" Outcomes by Phyllis Hutton
Raabe, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, University of New Orleans