I am in a position to negotiate part time for my current job after a mass exodus of developers recently.

Currently, I work remote but due to underlying communication and management problems in the company (PM's native language is not english, boss often overwrites tech design decisions in the middle of project), I am often forced to come in the office 4-5 days a week.

Instead, I want to work less hours so I can put my time into my own projects/business.

Need general advice regarding the entire situation, should I even bother with negotiating part time? I have enough savings to bring my business into fruition, should I just leave and work on it full time?

  • 1
    Watch out for my recent edit, cheers!
    – Marcus
    Feb 2 '20 at 17:51

So - a big part of this is personal. Only you can know the impact that your work has on your personal life, and only you can know whether the compensation is necessary or adequate.

Some thoughts about transitioning and negotiating to part-time, if that's what you want to do:

  • A general approach with salaried work is to reduce the hours and the salary in parallel. As an example, if you make $1000/week for salary, and are expected to work 40 hours (or more) then if you go do 30 hours, a week, you would expect to be paid $750 a week (25% less hours, 25% less money). There is usually also a cut-off point for other benefits - like health care, 401K participation, etc. - as it's not entirely fair for an employee who only works a really small number of hours to get a very expensive individual benefit (like health care, at least in the US, it's really expensive).

  • In some offices (mileage definitely varies) - workers who are only in a limited number of days a week are given different office space - smaller cubes, no cubes, temporary spaces, etc - so the space can be allocated primarily to those who are in the office the most.

  • Part time salaried work can be tricky - if your company already has culture problems and expects a lot of overtime, this may not change if you are part time, unless your country has strict protections for part-time workers. In an US office, for example, in a crunch, salaried part time workers may still be expected to put in overtime. That is OK if you have a healthy culture that respects people's personal lives and doesn't have a crunch ALL the time. But in a company that already can't get things done... this could be more like you work full time hours for part time money.

  • The communication problems don't go away when you are part time. Part timers generally have less opportunity to communicate, and have to be even more focused about getting stuff done. It's worth it to ask yourself if you'll be able to be effective in your role if the communication is so bad. In some ways, it's better to leave on a high note - when you know you are getting things done and everyone is quite satisfied with your work.

But I can't tell you with any certainty what's the right answer - those are are some general tradeoffs in transitioning to part time... only you can say.

Also - if you are trying to start your own business, make sure it's not in conflict with anything you agreed to in terms of this employment - for example, make sure they don't own 100% of your intellectual output.


You know that these are highly difficult questions which no one here is really qualified to answer definitively except yourself?

That being said, it's all about opportunity costs: Are you better off when leaving the company and trying to focus on your own project(s)?

And what do you expect from starting your own company, more money or more fulfillment? If the latter is the case, your opportunity costs are certainly higher if you'd stay in your current company.

But if you expect to live a full life without any financial or even personal sacrifices, then you should certainly stay within a company. But obviously in your current position you don't get what you've been promised - a remote work. A big no-no, so maybe searching for a - really - remote or part time job in another company, and starting from there with your projects in your spare time?

Because, considering the problems your company faces, it doesn't sound like a part-time job in your current company would be accepted by your employer: He'd probably search for an alternative and you'd loose your job! I'd suggest to stay in your current position, and do your current job as good as possible in the crisis during the next few months, while already starting to look for an opportunity with better conditions elsewhere...at least if you are really convinced that your own project(s)/business is gonna work. (If you're gonna be successful with your own project(s), your current employer will even more understand it, because entrepreneurs have a lot of respect for other entrepreneurs...so in the end it only depends on how the market reacts to your business, meaning if you're gonna win or loose ;)

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