South-Western - Management  
Perils of Part-Time: Flexible Work Hours Aren't Nearly as Heavenly as They Sound
Topic Managing Individuals and Teams
Key Words flexible schedule, part-time
InfoTrac Reference none
News Story

Part-time or flexible work schedules are attractive to many employees faced with family demands or a desire to pursue off-the-job passions. All too often, however, these employees are considered second-class citizens, stalling careers and making them vulnerable to layoffs. Less than 10% of employees are on alternative schedules at most companies.

Strategies for survival:

  1. When going from full-time to part-time, lay the groundwork for a reasonable workload. Many employees find they are still doing full-time work for part-time pay.
  2. Communicate often with co-workers, and attend meetings to maintain your presence.
  3. Managers sometimes assume people who are on unusual schedules lack commitment. Use networking and professional contacts to keep yourself in the running for promotions.
  4. Be willing to change your hours if they aren't working out for your employer.


This article discusses alternative work schedules from the employees' point of view. As a manager, how would you deal with this form of scheduling? What factors would you need to consider to determine if a particular employee or position was a good candidate for flex-time?

Source Sue Shellenbarger, "Perils of Part-Time: Flexible Work Hours Aren't Nearly as Heavenly as They Sound," Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2002.

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