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World - Part-time work seen as a bad career move

02 September 2011

Does part-time work impact career opportunities? Yes, almost half ofemployees (46%) believes working part-time is a bad career move, according to the latest quarterly Workmonitor, surveying employees in 29 countries around the world, published by staffing agency Randstad.

Overall there is a significant difference between men (51%) and women (42%) who feel this way. Especially in Greece (69%) employees view part-time jobs as a career no-go, and more than half of the respondents in Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden and Italy agree. In Turkey, Japan and the Czech Republic on the other hand, a third or fewer of employees see part-time work as an obstacle for their careers.

This could partly explain why the number of employees working in a part-time job is very limited: worldwide only 15%. Especially in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium and Sweden less than 1 out of 10 employees work part-time. China, however, is in the lead with part-time jobs: 35%, followed by Chile, India, Mexico, Italy and Argentina (between 27% to 21%).

Management position can be done part-time

Interestingly enough though, 41% of employees state that a management position should definitely be possible working part-time. In China again, this number is very high at 72%, as well as in Switzerland, Chile, India and Japan (54% or more). More than half of employers do facilitate part-time work: 52% overall. Countries at the high end (between 71% to 60%) are the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden), the UK, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany and New Zealand.

Direct superior often male

The percentage of male direct superiors is very high, despite the global call for gender diversity in management positions. 70% of direct superiors are men. Especially in Japan (83%) and Turkey (80%) there aren't many women in management positions. Also in China, India, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Argentina 75% or more of employees report to a male superior. Countries with a more gender-balanced management are New Zealand, the Nordic countries, Hungary, Australia, US, the UK, Canada and Chile.
Employee confidence again stable

The overall level of confidence in finding another job within the next six months is stable. Besides Indian and Chinese employees, Mexican respondents are also most confident in finding another job. Luxembourg and New Zealand experienced a boost in confidence. In China the fear of losing a job has increased significantly in the last three months. In Switzerland, which ranked high in fear of job loss in Q2, many employees are less fearful than three months ago.

Mobility Index drops to 103

The Mobility Index drops to 103 compared with 106 last quarter. This means that overall fewer employees worldwide expect to be employed elsewhere in the next six months. The Swiss Mobility Index has significantly declined (-13) compared with Q2 when high mobility numbers were reported. There were also declines in the Mobility Indices of Belgium (-13), Spain, Canada, Italy, France, Mexico, the UK, Sweden and Australia. In New Zealand, Chile and Slovakia mobility has increased.

No significant changes in job satisfaction

Satisfaction with their current employer has remained stable for European employees. Norwegians are the most satisfied this quarter (81%). In other parts of the world, satisfaction in Mexico and China has declined, although Mexican employees still report relatively high satisfaction levels at 79%.
Personal motivation high in Mexico and India

Employees in the Nordic countries seem to be least focused on getting a promotion. Outside Europe the most ambitious employees can be found in Mexico and India. In Argentina personal motivation has declined compared with three months ago.

The quantitative study is conducted via an online questionnaire among a population aged 18 to 65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimal sample size is 400 interviews per country, using Survey Sampling International. Research for the third wave 2011 was conducted between 18 July and 8 August 2011.

To read the full report please click here


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