In business, it’s a commonly held belief that the higher an executive climbs in their company, the more time they need to spend at work. Many executives are proving that this is no longer the case, according to David Johnston, CFO. Here, he explains some of the reasons why C-suite executives — and the companies who depend on them — are beginning to see the value of switching from full-time to part-time work.
Part-time work lets executives spend time with their families and pursue their passions outside of work. This can translate into happier executives, happier managers, and happier employees. Often, companies tell employees that they need to put their families and their mental health first, but few executives actually model that behavior, allowing employees to feel comfortable doing the same. According to Forbes, work-life balance is one of the most important factors that determines job satisfaction. Many employees who want to go part-time may feel more comfortable doing so after seeing C-suite executives do the same.
Working full-time can lead to stress-related health problems, especially when more time spent at work means less time spent on stress-relieving activities. Chronic stress can make it hard for executives and employees to focus. Health effects related to chronic stress can include anxiety, depression, digestive problems, insomnia, high blood pressure, cardiac problems, and more. When C-suite executives go part-time, they aren’t just allowing more time to attend to any health issues that arise — they’re also decreasing their stress levels, making it less likely that they’ll encounter health problems in the first place.
Burnout is a common issue among C-suit level executives, according to David Johnston, CFO. While some executives can push through full-time until they hit their career goals, others struggle with burnout. When an executive experiences burnout, they feel swamped or drained most of the time, and it can be difficult for them to motivate themselves to stop working toward a goal — much less a team of managers or employees. Working part-time can decrease the likelihood that an executive will experience burnout, which can make them more likely to stay on board with the company long-term. This means that the executive benefits from a healthy relationship with their company, and the company benefits from the continued expertise of the executive, according to David Johnston.
When an executive spends most of their time shuffling between the office and the boardroom, it can be tough to make new connections. Working part-time doesn’t just open up the opportunity for executives to spend more time with their families — it also opens the door for them to make new connections with others. Many executives tend to see the same people from day to day, or even from year to year. Going part-time encourages executives to take up new pursuits and meet new people, allowing them to form new connections that can benefit them socially, emotionally, and professionally. Meeting new people does not have to be a formal networking event, rather, talking with others can allow executives to approach workplace issues in a new way, or can allow them to form connections that can eventually benefit their business, according to David Johnston, CFO.
As more companies see the benefits of executives working part-time, it’s possible that more organizations will jump on board, believes David Johnston, CFO. Many executives are also taking advantage of the newly accepted option (in many companies) to work from home more often. The combination of going part-time and working from home may provide an opportunity for organizations to lower employee stress levels and boost job satisfaction.