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PRESS RELEASE: Is part-time work the exclusion zone?

New research published today reveals that 2 in 3 part-time workers feel isolated and struggle to make professional connections. The report, ‘Part-time Work: The Exclusion Zone?’ highlights the impact this can have on issues such as performance, delivery and the gender pay gap.

Part-time employees isolated

18 September 2018

With part-time and flexible workers now making up the majority of the UK workforce1 , the news that 2 in 3 part-timers have acknowledged a sense of isolation is a real cause of concern for business. In response to the research, authors and flexible working experts, Timewise are:

  • Calling on businesses to capitalise on the potential of their part-time employees by taking a more proactive approach.
  • Launching the PowerFlex Network – the UK’s first-ever cross-business network to support middle and senior management part-time and flexible workers.

Research findings

Part-time Work: The Exclusion Zone? 2, a new quantitative study by flexible working experts Timewise based on 1,700 part-time workers, found that:

  • Two thirds (65 per cent) feel less connected to their own teams because social events are harder to make.
  • More than half (59 per cent) feel they have fallen behind full-time colleagues in terms of skills and knowledge.
  • Nearly two thirds (61 per cent) feel less up-to-date with team developments.
  • Nearly 7 in 10 (68 per cent) feel so grateful to be allowed to work part-time that they accept career compromises.
  • More than half (59 per cent) miss out on networking opportunities because they conflict with their own working patterns.

The report also highlights the knock-on effect that these issues can have on business, limiting part-time employees’ ability to develop their skills and connections and so reducing the value they can add to their teams. All of which, as is well-documented, can create extra challenges around issues such as board diversity and the gender pay gap.

Timewise Power 50 awards

Underpinning the launch of the network, today also sees the call for nominations open for the 2019 Timewise Power 50 awards, the organisation’s annual celebration of mid to senior level part-time and flexible workers, supported by EY, Lloyds Banking Group, Dixons Carphone and Diageo.

The annual awards reflect the changing shape of today’s workplace and how jobs are designed. They celebrate future-forward employers and inspirational individuals who together challenge the concept of what you would believe is possible in a part-time or flexible job. Categories include: The Power Part-Timers, The Power Climbers, The Power Job Sharers, The Power Founders and The Power Returners. Nominations open on Tuesday 18th September at,  and will close on Friday 2 November 2018.


Timewise’s multi-award winning founder, Karen Mattison, MBE, comments:
“It’s time to end ‘flexism’ in the workplace. The workforce has changed but the workplace has not caught up. Much of working culture is still rooted in the 5-day 1950s model, with a lack of flexibility around when meetings, training and networking take place – leaving part-time workers isolated. With as few as 6 per cent of people thought to work a traditional ‘9-5’, we have a strong mandate for change. Part-time and flexible aren’t the future of work. They are the now.”

Lynn Rattigan, EY’s Chief Operating Officer in the UK & Ireland, comments:
“With the rise of the gig economy, there could well become a time when the workplaces of today are primarily used as hubs for employees to gather, network, meet and collaborate.

“The Timewise PowerFlex Network is ahead of that curve, bringing together talented professionals who work flexibly for a whole host of reasons.

“The world of work is changing at a rapid pace and employers will need to focus on challenging their own policies and procedures that could potentially act as barriers to greater flexibility in their workforce. The PowerFlex Network and the Timewise Power 50 list, launched today, provide ways in which employees and employers can share their experiences and best practice to support our ever growing gig workforce, professionally and personally.”

Fiona Cannon OBE, Group Responsible Business & Inclusion Director, Lloyds Banking Group says:
“At Lloyds Banking Group, we recognise that today’s business environment is changing dramatically, driven by changing consumer expectations, technological advancement, rapid globalisation and new societal values. New models of work are required to respond to this changing environment. Building agility into every aspect of how we do business is helping us create a workforce which can adapt quickly to change. In the last two years, for example, we have increased the proportion of new roles we advertise with agile working arrangements from less than 10% to over 90%. We are delighted to be supporting Timewise in the launch of the PowerFlex Network and 2019 Timewise Power 50, to celebrate stories of successful agile workers and create opportunities for them to connect.”

Assad Malic, Director of Investor Relations, PR & Corporate Affairs at Dixons Carphone says:
“Dixons Carphone is proud to support the launch the search for the next Timewise Power 50 list, and the new PowerFlex Network. We recognise the powerful value to our colleagues, our customers and our business of part-time and flexible working – half of our employees work on a part-time basis and we have a well-established way of “smart” working. As a 24/7 business operating internationally and in an environment where employees increasingly expect flexibility, we have to ensure we are an employer of choice. We have an ambition to remove the standard 37 hour, 9am-5pm contract altogether over the coming years. We go to every effort to make our flexible and part-timers’ experience feel inclusive and progressive and have a mentoring programme to support colleagues and connect them with others in the business. By investing time in understanding and adapting to our colleagues’ working needs we get loyalty from our talented teams in return – it’s a win-win for all businesses.”

James Dowling, Head of Talent Engagement in Europe, Diageo says:
“At Diageo we are extremely proud of the many talented individuals in our business who work in a variety of flexible ways and who are excelling in their careers every day. We are therefore delighted to be supporting the Timewise Power 50 awards once again this year and wish all nominees good luck!”

For more information please contact Jo Burkill:
t: 0207 633 4553 / m: 07960 472097 / e:

Notes to editors

1 Source: Flexible Working: A Talent Imperative, Timewise, 2017. 73 per cent of the UK workforce currently work either part-time or full-time with some form of flexible working pattern.
2 Source: A quantitative study of 1,700 current or recent part-time workers registered with Timewise was conducted in May 2018.

N.B. 6 per cent statistic quoted by Karen Mattison comes from YouGov Plc study commissioned by McDonald’s. Total sample size was 4,295 adults, of which over 2,000 were workers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th – 31st July 2018.

About Timewise

Timewise is a multi-award winning social business, working to unlock the flexible jobs market in the UK. We share market insights on flexible working and flexible hiring, deliver training and consultancy to help businesses attract and develop the best talent, and conduct research such as our annual Flexible Jobs Index.

We also run Timewise Jobs, a national jobs board for roles that are part-time or open to flexibility.

Timewise is led by award-winning founders and Joint CEOs, Karen Mattison and Emma Stewart. They have been listed as two of the UK’s leading radical thinkers by the Observer newspaper and Nesta; named ‘Small Business Heroes’ by Management Today magazine and ‘two of the key social entrepreneurs to watch’ by Real Business magazine; and are winners of the Institute of Directors’ Women Changing the Business World award, following nominations from the UK public. In 2010 they were made MBEs for their services to social enterprise.

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