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Re: Full time and part time

Posted: June 3rd, 2016, 8:01 am
by iab
bepster wrote: I don't know. The point of working say Mon-Wed is so that you can plan your Thur-Fri however you like.

Unless you treat the entire thing as flex time. You need to work 24 hours in the week, not necessarily M-W. Some weeks you may need to work Thursday because of a client meeting. Flexible goes both ways, for the employer and employee. I don't see the difficulty.

As for other benefits, HC, 401K, vacation, etc., I don't see a problem there either. You get proportionally less. We have these things called computers that can automatically calculate the bottom line, for the employer and employee.

The biggest hurdle is stated in the OP, cultural norms, especially in merka. One upping each others on hours/week is a national pastime here. Quite sad in reality. Seems the measure of a person is the amount of crap they have.

Re: Full time and part time

Posted: June 3rd, 2016, 11:40 am
by yo
I've heard of this working more as a retainer type situation. IE a bucket of hours that can be used in different ways. This type of thing can work well with a start up or company with a smaller product portfolio that doesn't need 40 hrs per week of a designer. Usually this is a pretty limited arrangement. For example it runs for a year or two and either the company needs more design time or they don't make it so they don't need any design time.

Separately I had a similar arrangement with a small engineering firm that had a single designer and they hired me to mentor him. Basically spent time once a week together. I did it for a little over a year and then felt he didn't need me anymore so I stopped it. Fast forward 3 years I ended up hiring him at Sound United, he applied, I didn't solicit, and the entire situation ended up being amicable including me helping the firm backfill with some recommendations.

Re: Full time and part time

Posted: June 3rd, 2016, 4:50 pm
by designbreathing
What we are seeing in the developed world now is a hyper sensitivity to measuring productivity within an organization. Technology and specifically spreadsheets and algorithms now allow the precise measuring of assets against a desired level of productivity relative to benefits offered to the employee. The OP's question points directly at pushing this model in favor of more satisfied well being on the part of the employee.

I have experienced a variety of situations over the years as a staff designer, manager, freelancer, contractor and educator. Where I have seen the most HR efficiency applied recently to the organization is in the education sector. Here in Korea (which borrows many HR and corporate policies from the USA and Europe), the number of hours you teach is specifically controlled to define your status as either part time or full time. The number of full time positions are tightly controlled (i.e. minimized) to keep the benefits offered by the organization to a minimum. The term that is used is called 'casual labor' on the adjunct/part time side. This allows for schools to increase their class sizes (i.e. more revenue) but keep a minimum of full time staff that ding the bottom line on expensive pensions and benefits. Most of the classes are taught now by part time adjuncts who usually have 2-3 teaching/contract gigs a different schools and is very low on the well being scale. Here in Korea this issue was brought to the highest levels of government and changes were made to hire more full time professors in all areas of education in order to alleviate the deteriorating lifestyle of the adjunct professor.

The idea of hiring more full time employees at a reduced number of hours indeed benefits the lifestyle of the employee, but it must be balanced with policy and heed the laws set out for full time benefits collecting employees. Whether it is a design or manufacturing firm, university or multi-national conglomerate, this is why freelance and contracting is a reality in the marketplace. When there is a need for a specific task or service, the firm hires the resources to fill the scheduling/resource gap. What the OP is suggesting challenges many policy laws that determine how a 'full time' employee is defined by the government and its income tax and benefits laws. I surmise you will need to roll up your sleeves and dig into your state's HR tax and benefit laws to understand how much latitude there is to change the rules.

Re: Full time and part time

Posted: June 5th, 2016, 1:03 am
by bcpid
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.

Re: Full time and part time

Posted: June 6th, 2016, 8:54 pm
by FH13
Yes, a 2 hour commute is insane in my opinion.
I also believe the work life balance should be balanced and I include the commute in this balance. With wife and kids I don't want to and can't be gone from 7am to 7pm or whatever it is.

I think the main problem is the work week based on Mon-Friday 40 hrs a week. If everybody else in the country/world is following this schedule then the part timer will be absent 2 days leading to delays or a full timer picking up where the part timer left off (in case of an urgent matter.....there's always those). If the economy goes down then the part timer may be the first to go, if work picks up the part timer may be asked to work more hours...

The price of homes, health insurance, kids education and so on would prohibit most of working only 3 days a week, at least in the major metropolitan areas.

Maybe a 5-6 hour day may be a better solution. Or working 3 days at the office and 2 days remotely. Flexibility is very important, specially when you have kids.

Re: Full time and part time

Posted: June 7th, 2016, 7:57 am
by iab
bcpid wrote: how idiotic a lot of work culture is.

It has taken 8 years but it looks like the boomers and silents are finally on board for flex time where I work. Just so long as you put in your 40 every week.

Personally, I am in a position where I could could afford a pay cut in relation to a cut in hours. I have no idea what percentage of folks are in a similar place. But then how many of them are willing to take the cut? I don't even think money is the driver. I think it would show a sign of "weakness". I know it would be considered that at my place of employment. That makes you first on the list to let go in bad times (I think that has been mentioned already).

Also, anything non-puritan is considered socialism in merka. Can't have that can we.

Re: Full time and part time

Posted: June 21st, 2016, 3:33 am
by Coffee87
Yes, unfortunately working long hours is more valued than the actual output/work delivered.
This is the main thing wrong about the currently dominant work culture and also why the OP got such responses.

In this culture the evaluation method is:

Commitment and Worth = Sacrifices made (of your personal life & time)

While it actually should be:

Output delivered per every hour