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Part-time works: The podcast


Part-time works: The podcast

Hear how part-time working benefits people’s lives and can be key to unlocking opportunities

Two People In A Workshop Portrait

Part-time work can be a game changer for so many people’s working lives, enhancing their ability to earn a living and to save for their future. That's why Phoenix Insights have partnered with the flexible work experts and social enterprise Timewise to create a podcast series that builds understanding and celebrates part-time working through informative and interesting discussions of people's experiences of part-time work.

Our aim is to:

  • Focus on the ‘art of the possible’ and challenge perceptions surrounding good part-time work, by profiling stories that include people working part-time for a diversity of reasons.
  • Encourage more people to ask for part-time working and increase the propensity of managers to consider and accept requests, both at the point of hire and for existing staff.
  • Empower more employers and employees in the workplace through a series of practical ‘how to’ resources building on Timewise’s expertise for both individuals and managers.

Part-time working – the facts

Average life expectancy in the UK has risen significantly over the last two centuries. Our increased longevity is a fantastic success story of human ingenuity, however, we believe as we live and work for longer, the jobs we do and how and when we do them, need to change.

Research from Timewise – A Question of Time (2023), supported by Phoenix Group found that:

  • There are eight million people working part-time in the UK or 1 in every 4 workers.  However, many more would like to work part-time but cannot access this option.
  • Reduced hours are seen as a central way to manage life and health needs. But there are distinct cultural and economic barriers to overcome.
  • Nearly half of all survey respondents believe part-time working can limit career progression, and over a third of workers consider it to be primarily for parents and carers.
  • Part-time employment is prevalent among women. However, there has been a slow decrease in women’s participation in part-time work, and a slight increase in men’s.
  • Results highlighted the gender inequalities associated with caring responsibilities, yet also drew attention to the health crisis, particularly men's mental health.

Helping to normalise part-time working with a gender – and reason – neutral approach, for anyone who needs it across UK workplaces is a key component of making better longer lives a reality for us all. Bringing part-time work into the mainstream can allow people to stay in and return to work when full-time work is not an option, it can also facilitate a better work life balance and even help create opportunities for career change.  All these reasons are vitally important in the modern world of work to enable individuals to help support themselves now and to secure their own futures.

Episode 1 – Modern part-time working

Is part-time working more accepted, nowadays? How have things changed? Why is it so important? 

Sharon Foxwell and Jo Holdom hold a discussion with Alex Kihurani. Jo and Sharon have job shared at One Voice Media, a PR and marketing agency in Devon for 12 years, where they are Associate Directors. Both are parents and Sharon’s youngest daughter has additional needs, due to a disability. Alex Kihurani is a senior manager in risk advisory and analytics at EY – and is also a successful rally car racing driver. Alex has worked part-time for years to balance rallying and finance. And now he has another reason: his baby daughter, who hasn’t had an easy start to life.

Episode 2 - Bosses

Inspiring bosses: what makes for great managers of part-time workers. 

Two managers of part-time workers – who also work part-time themselves – discuss what qualities make for great leaders of people who need time-based flex. With Kelly Keating in Bournemouth, and Andrew Eaton in Birmingham.

Episode 3 – Part-time on the frontline

Can you work part-time in the frontline? Demonstrating the art of the possible. 

Can there be work-life balance in shift-based jobs? Nurse Julie Snell has worked part-time for 25 years. Detective Inspector Nisha Chandra is new to flex. The two discuss the nuts and bolts of how their jobs work.

Episode 4 – How to progress while part-time

Part-time paths to progression – carving out your own path and making it work for you. 

Can you work part-time and shape the career you want? Yes. Sarah Ellis, co-host of the Squiggly Careers podcast and co-founder Amazing If, and Phoenix Group’s Claire Hawkins discuss their own individual career journeys.

Episode 5 – Part-time changed the course of my life

Good part-time working can unlock your life and set you on a better path. 

Professor Richard Lanyon-Hogg and Dr Katie Perry discuss how part-time working changed both their lives – and look at the incredible talent pool of people who work part-time.