Someone asked why I started this thread/what the point is. I was on a business trip a few weeks ago, and one of the clients was talking about their 2 hour commute, plus long hours culture (In a product category that is, by the way, ENTIRELY discretionary), and it got me thinking about how idiotic a lot of work culture is. I've been fortunate in having a pretty flexible situation, and working in smaller, laid back settings in my career, but many have not. I have a hard time believing that person's life - their kids' lives - and many other professionals' lives would not be improved by working less and earning less. Throw in a little mustachian/strongtowns logic and a longstanding skepticism of consumer culture, and it's a natural question for me to ask.
I didn't expect the idea to be as dismissed as it was, and I have difficulty wrapping my head around a few ideas in this thread:
1) The idea that there is a meaningful difference in the work a part time employee might do versus the work a full time employee might do. I assume most full time employees are responsible for multiple projects. We'll say five projects on average, to make the math easy. A part timer, by comparison, could be equally as reponsible for three projects, and run them at the same pace on a part time schedule, as a full timer runs their five projects on a full time schedule. Since project scheduling is always built around the time tradeoffs associated with multiple projects, there is literally no difference in how projects would be run or how it would likely impact clients - and project schedules are always negotiable anyway, unless managed badly. Both employees are proportionally, equally valuable.
2) The idea that a part timer is only useful on a limited contract or other such arrangement. It is entirely possible and likely that a company consistently has 100ish hours (or some other non-multiple of 40) of design work on a weekly basis. Throw in a few hours of non-design admin, and that's too much work (endless 50+hr weeks = burnout) for two full timers alone, unless of course the manager is an incompetent or sadistic tool, but it is perfect for two 40 hr fulltimers and a 25/30 hr part timer.
3) The idea that part timers doing the same work should not be paid proportionally and receive benefits proportional to their share of fulltime. Why?
I think the discussion has been really good so far, please continue.