The Power 50: Part-time, full throttle

How to do a top job part time.

by Kate Bassett
Last Updated: 25 Feb 2020

You don’t need to work long hours to do a top job.

Take Marc Nohr, group CEO of the Miroma agencies (pictured). Nohr heads up the £153m-turnover collective of global marketing services agencies, with offices in 11 countries and over 350 employees worldwide, and he’s also the chairman of creative agency Fold7. Nohr is part-time – and proud of it.

Nohr dropped to a four-day week in 2018 so he could chair Jewish cultural centre JW3, pick up his youngest son from school, exercise [he’s the director of martial arts body London Krav Maga] and spend more time “just thinking things through and sitting in a café with my notebook and pen”.

“Initially, I decided that I needed a bit of headspace and more varied, diverse days in order to feel productive and fulfilled,” he explains. “We all know there’s a law of diminishing returns when it comes to working longer hours. When you’re overloaded and running from meeting to meeting, you’re just surviving – you’re not thriving.”

His decision to work flexibly was “thought out in detail”: he spent time reading up on it and observing others. “One of my oldest friends works in the music industry at the highest level, flies all over the world but is in the office just one hour a day. Another works from home every morning, and then sees people in the afternoon. They are some of the most productive people I know,” he says. “Creativity doesn’t happen between 9-5.”

Nohr features on this year’s Power 50 list of the UK’s most senior part-time and flexible workers. Produced by Timewise and backed by EY, Diageo, Lloyds Banking Group and Dixons Carphone, the list proves that working part time doesn't mean you're not ambitious, you're not up for promotion, or you're on the "mummy track".

There are now more than one million part-time employees in manger-level or senior jobs in the UK. The number of “power part-timers” has increased by more than half (55 per cent) in the eight years since Timewise started tracking the figures.

“Just a few years ago, people were reluctant to admit they worked part-time for fear of being seen as less committed or ambitious. No more,” says Karen Mattison MBE, co-founder of Timewise. “With one in six managers and senior-level executives working less than five full-days a week, it’s clear flexible working has hit its stride."

READ THE FULL POWER 50 LIST HERE

Image credit: Julian Dodd

Are you pushing for gender equality in the workplace? Time to be recognised. Be part of our male Agents of Change power list here.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

A mini case study in horizon scanning

Swissgrid has instituted smart risk management systems for spotting things that could go wrong before...

Interview ghosting: Stop treating job seekers like bad dates

Don’t underestimate the business impact of a simple rejection letter.

5 avoidable corporate disasters

And the lessons to learn from them.

Dressing to impress: One for the dustbin of history?

Opinion: Businesswomen are embracing comfort without sacrificing impact. Returning to the office shouldn't change that....

How to motivate people from a distance

Recognising success in a remote or hybrid environment requires a little creativity, says Insight SVP...

What pushy fish can teach you about influence at work

Research into marine power struggles casts light on the role of influence and dominant bosses...