A growing number of parents are being self-determined and turning their dream of working part-time into reality. In 62 percent of families, at least one parent works part-time – as well as having a part-time family job at home. A report on "stair bobsledders," "managers of everything" and "household MacGyvers."

The beginning: if you had to give a name to your family part-time job, what would it be? Dream world architect? House cat researcher? Or stair bobsledder? Think about it…

Balancing job and childcare

After the Netherlands, Switzerland is the country with the most part-time employees in Europe. A Swiss Life study shows that families often choose to work part time because they hope it will provide the best balance between work and childcare. Take Luisa (46) and Jürg (44), for example. They both decided to reduce their working hours. When they talk about the extra time they can spend with their children through working part-time, their eyes light up:

Please accept marketing cookies so you can watch this video. Cookie settings

Luisa always knew that she did not want to give up her job and that she wanted to master the balancing act between family and job as a "manager of everything". It didn’t take long for her and her husband to make up their minds: both chose to work part time, keeping their jobs and being there for the family at the same time. Only when the children were 8 and 10 years old did Luisa decide to increase her working hours again.


"Building sandcastles with my children in the sandpit or jumping from the 3-metre board – those were moments when I returned to my childhood. There’s nothing better than spending time with your family."
Luisa (46), mother of two children (8 and 10)

What needs to be borne in mind?

The birth of a child, buying a home or divorce – far-reaching changes are a regular part of family life. And these changes can really turn family life on its head. It is important that the family’s life and pensions cover keep pace with the changes.

Jürg really appreciates having enough time for his own private life, hobbies and friends. According to Jürg, the greatest advantage of his reduced working hours is spending time with his family. Jürg loves working in the garden with his children – he also enjoys organising the household with his wife. So what family part-time job description would fit Jürg better than "household MacGyver"?


"When you spend time with your children, you immerse yourself in their world. You experience how they grow, how they begin to speak and articulate. This time is priceless!"
Jürg (44), father of two children (3 and 5) 

So, what is your family part-time job? If you would like to know how your part-time job as a stair bobsledder, dream world architect or house cat researcher affects your budget, our part-time calculator can help.

Part-time calculator

Would you like to work part-time as well? Find out quickly and easily what impact the reduced level of employment would have on your budget and on childcare.

Families in the part-time model

Part-time employment is popular in Switzerland: at least one parent works part time in 62 percent of families. There are many reasons for that: in our series we show how families deal with the topic of part-time work. What are their interests and what do they value most in the extra time they have gained?

Additional articles of interest


The advantages of part-time employment

Read more


The Mbemba family and their dream of self-employment

Read more


Part-time work: Nine valuable tips for a reduced level of employment

Read more