Part-time employment is popular in Switzerland, where 62 percent of families have at least one parent working reduced hours. More time for family, friends or hobbies – sounds tempting. But does part-time employment automatically equal more happiness? A representative Swiss Life study shows: not necessarily.
There are many reasons for Swiss people to prefer working part time. Mothers mainly offer childcare and household as their motivation, while fathers are often also keen to achieve a better work-life balance. The question is whether the time gained away from work does in fact make one’s life more satisfying.
Does part-time employment make people happier?
A Swiss Life study shows that parents who work part time enjoy their jobs more, are less stressed and feel that their work is more appreciated. They make friends on the job more often. Thanks to part-time employment, parents are less exhausted and experience a better work-life balance, since they are able to reconcile family and career. Just 30 percent of parents in a full-time position feel that their life meets their ideals. Of those working part time, meanwhile, a full 44 percent believe their life measures up to their expectations. So at first glance it looks as though part-time employment does make people more satisfied with their lives than full-time.
At the same time, men and women can in principle be happy with either a full-time or a part-time model, depending on the basic conditions of their employment, since our study also demonstrates that part-time employment is only more satisfying when it is paired with financial security. If it is also accompanied by stable health, then there’s hardly anything in the way of happiness.
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