Flexible working models are in vogue. So is part-time working. People want to combine their family, hobbies and work more than ever. At AXA, we're more than happy to accommodate this need with our Smart Working approach. We have long-established and proven part-time models.
Of all AXA employees, more than 50 percent of female employees and 20 percent of male ones work part-time. At AXA, part-time working is not a career killer. What’s more: it can be ideally combined with a career. This is also borne out by our figures.
We’re happy to let two employees talk about this subject themselves. They explain their part-time work model to us and show us how they manage their career with a reduced workload.
Before Ramon reduced his workload to 80 percent in 2008, he worked on a full-time basis for eight years. “Initially I could never have imagined working part-time. Twenty years ago, the part-time model was definitely an exception, especially for men”, explains Ramon. But he increasingly felt the need to balance his job and private life, not least because he has always had many hobbies and interests that take up a great deal of time. This includes helping to build up a local radio station in Winterthur and helping out at various cultural events in town.
Martin was also interested in reducing his working hours. “I took on more responsibility in my job and realized that it was more difficult to strike the right balance between my personal and professional time”, he said.
After more than ten years at AXA, he reduced his working hours to 90 percent in summer 2017. Both Martin and Ramon chose the part-time working model so that they could also be more productive at work.
“Initially I could never have imagined working part-time. Twenty years ago, the part-time model was definitely an exception, especially for men.
Two employees with two different work models. With Smart Working, there’s also the option to divide time flexibly between working from home and working from the office. So, for instance, Ramon decided to split his hours 50:50 between working in the office and working from home. The introduction of Smart Working enabled him to agree on this model in consultation with his product team. “I tend not to work on Fridays, but this can vary from week to week, as we’re all flexible. AXA is too”, says Ramon.
Unlike Ramon, Martin takes advantage of working part-time to devote more time to his private passion of friends, family and travel. He then compensates for this. To do so, Martin often works five days a week, then takes the accrued overtime as time off at a later date. For example, as additional vacation days when he may suddenly decide to have a day out, spend quality time with friends and family or recharge his batteries through sport. Once he even extended his vacation by using his accrued days to travel around the world. Best of all is that Smart Working now opens up more options, as AXA employees can also work a few days abroad and combine these directly with vacation. “I very much appreciate the flexibility offered by the Smart Working model in terms of time and location, and I’m very grateful for it”, says Martin.
Part-time has never been a stumbling block for my career.
“Working part-time is definitely not an obstacle to having a career”, Ramon and Martin both agree on this. “It also crucially depends on your personal definition of career”, adds Ramon. He believes that the part-time working model also works at management level, especially at AXA. “Part-time has never been a stumbling block for my career”, confirmed Martin who is soon switching jobs internally.
According to Ramon and Martin, the greatest challenge on the work front comes from a completely different angle. And has nothing to do with the weekly workload. “These days, the greatest challenge is managing the private and professional energy balance, as this is the only way you can be committed and make an enthusiastic contribution”. Here they both agree that this is a personal dilemma and is based on individual needs. This is because it’s the only way that individuals can find the right balance for themselves.
“These days, the greatest challenge is managing the private and professional energy balance
“Working part-time is not only attractive for employees, but also for AXA. It’s a classic win-win situation”, explains Ramon. “At AXA, it’s not unusual to want to work part-time”, adds Martin. He also had a lot of support from the team.
Both of them agree that it’s also possible to go the famous extra mile. “It’s important to focus on the time when you’re present and not harp on about the time you’re not”, both of them pass on as the last tip on working part-time. We’re happy to highlight this.