I would like to work part time

  • No whim! We take care to identify our needs before tumbling into the boss’s office. And we discuss it with our spouse to validate that part-time work is really the solution for us. “It may be that on reflection we realize that what would really be more profitable for us would be to leave the office earlier to avoid the traffic,” underlines Marianne Roberge, president, and counselor in work-family balance at KOEVÄ.
  • By having in mind the reasons behind our choice, it is easier to present the facts to our boss. We seem to be well prepared and not to make a request without real explanations. We can write down the reasons that motivate our request and remember them before the meeting with our superior to have more assurance.
  • We make an appointment with our boss. “We don’t make our request in the hallway, it’s never a winner!” mentions Marianne Roberge.
  • We make our request in a clear, realistic, and calm way. Two things to mention: the company will not be penalized for this change and we like our job. “We are in solution mode. We demonstrate that we are available to train a new person to do our tasks, but we are careful not to come up with a plan that is too specific, which could upset our boss,” suggests the conciliation counselor.
  • We rely on our flexibility. “We can offer a trial period of a few months or even agree to return full-time temporarily during peak periods,” says Guylaine Deschênes, organizational psychologist, career coach, and author of the book Harmonizing your life: The art of balance work and personal life.
  • Such a request is often emotional, as it usually affects our family life. Tell the truth or not talk about your children? “It does nothing to pretend it is something else or to lie, we risk losing our credibility. We say the real things without going into details, ”notes Ms. Roberge. One can for example say: “Since my return from maternity leave, I admit that I have the impression of always running. Still, I love my job, but I feel like I can’t be as productive at work as before. I would like to be able to optimize my energies.”
  • Phew! It is done! Now we have to be patient. “We should not expect to have an answer when leaving the boss’s office. He needs to think about it. So we stay positive. Sometimes, even after a refusal, an employer can change their mind or offer us an alternative solution.
  • Our request is refused? We turn to a plan B. There are several ways to arrange your schedule: compressed work week (same number of hours of work, but over four days), flexible schedule, telecommuting, time of arrival or more flexible departure, additional holidays, etc. The important thing is to remain proactive and to question yourself again in the light of new data.

To consult

  • Harmonize your life: The art of reconciling work and personal life , by Guylaine Deschênes, Québec-Livre, 2013, 216 p.
  • Work-family balance – Find your account and your happiness , by Claudie Arsenault, Les Éditeurs Réunis, 2009, 207 p. 


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