Less money, sometimes fewer career opportunities – but more time for yourself and other tasks: why these four people decided to work part-time.

The trend can no longer be denied: More and more people are voluntarily opting for less work and more free time. Like these four people who have never regretted their step:

“My working days feel more intense”

Michal Weyrer (name changed) got a ball rolling at the time. The 40-year-old works in a large financial institution and reduced his working hours to 30 hours in 2018. An unusual request. In his team, off-peak times have to be covered alternately. It’s a matter of classification and tolerance, he says. For him, the day off is important, for example to go to the authorities or do work on the house. “I’m also very involved in clubs.” That also takes time. More people are now working part-time – not everyone can have a long weekend. His day off is between Tuesday and Thursday. The workload has not decreased significantly. “It feels like my working days are more intense. Productivity has definitely increased. 40 hours sounds good, but it doesn’t stop there. You get a coffee or take a few steps. I don’t have to do that as often anymore and I work more purposefully.”

“I can’t imagine 40 hours anymore”

At first, those around her were shocked, says Stefanie Stockbauer. She was asked how she could only voluntarily give up such a great job in a managerial position in the real estate industry. “But I was extremely unhappy and had to look for something that I enjoy,” says the 31-year-old from Vienna. So she reduced it, initially to 32 hours. “I always had Fridays off and realized how nice it can be to take this day off.” Motivation at work also increased. Stockbauer is now only employed for 22 hours, she has also become self-employed as a yoga Pilates trainer. “I think you can have multiple jobs.” She consciously accepted the fact that she now has less money at her disposal. “I used to go on short trips a lot. That’s no longer an option.”

“This third day off changes something”

Linda Bukowski (name changed) involved in training activities in her work at the bank and remarked that she also enjoys imparting knowledge. A “nice change”, which also led to training as a fitness trainer alongside her full-time job. “With an office job, you get back pain at some point and you get bothered.” In 2019, the desire to reduce hours arose. Something that wasn’t easy to implement at first. “Back then I got into a management position because I had the know-how. At that time I divided 30 hours over five days, but it hardly stayed at six hours a day. It wasn’t until a year later, when processes worked and there were signs of a handover of leadership, that I was able to work four days. This third day off changes something.” Today she teaches sports classes after work. “I can meet people more authentically because I know what it means to sit in the office all day.”

“I demand flexibility, so I give it”

“30 hours wasn’t usual at my old job,” says Gilbert Schibranji. At that time the reason was still his studies, but he kept the reduced working hours afterwards. What’s more, it was a requirement for his next employer, where he now heads a small marketing team. “Mental health is important for doing good work and creative ideas need space. It’s not like I stop thinking about ideas after work. It’s a fluid process.” It can also happen that you have to work on your day off, but these are time-sensitive tasks. Work that can also happen later does not happen on such days. “I demand flexibility from my employer, so it’s only fair to demand the same from me.”

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