Author: Diane O'Connor

When I first joined CGI, I applied for a supervisory management position. I was very happy when they welcomed my idea of job-sharing the role with someone I suggested, and it ended up working really well.

Working part-time is a great solution for me. It has enabled me to maintain an active IT career without taking away from other aspects of my life. When my kids were younger, working part-time gave me the flexibility to be there for them when necessary.

It’s that flexibility that really springs to mind when I think about the biggest benefits of going part-time. CGI is a very supportive workplace. I’ve never been made to feel like an inconvenience if I have to take leave for personal situations. The company offers a number of flexible working options including part-time hours encourages all of us to pursue a healthy work/life balance.

Through years of experience, I’ve learnt that with the right approach you can be a productive, valued and effective member of the team while working part-time. With this in mind, I thought I’d share a few tips for others thinking about making the same move.

1. Manage your time wisely

To me, the greatest skill you can have when working part-time is excellent time management. While no one minds helping out if there’s an escalation or something out of the blue pops up, being part-time shouldn’t mean additional day-to-day work for your colleagues. When you only have limited hours at work each week, being efficient and organised is critical.

2. Plan ahead

To that end, thinking ahead is key. If I am working Monday to Wednesday, for example, I make sure that I have planned everyone’s work for the whole week so the team knows what they need to do on the days I am not there. We’ll discuss anything they might need help with, and I pre-plan as much as possible.

3. Be available when you can

​​Although it’s important to have boundaries between work and home life, the reality is sometimes unexpected issues come up that need to be addressed quickly. To that end, I’m happy to take calls on my non-work days and I sporadically monitor my emails to check there’s nothing urgent I need to attend to. I’ve found it’s easiest to work around my schedule: for example, when my kids were young, I used to check emails first thing in the morning, while they were having a nap during the day and in the evenings after they had gone to bed.

4. Be flexible

It can be a challenge arranging meetings and catch-ups around everyone’s schedules, especially now we’re dealing with global workforces and timezones. Recording important meetings on Zoom or MS Teams is great, but for those that have to be attended in real time, it’s simply about being flexible. I’m always happy to return the same level of flexibility to CGI that the company provides me.

5. Don’t underestimate the value of a supportive employer

Working for a company that cares for and values employees goes a long way. At CGI, I have always been encouraged to find a work/life balance that suits me, and that’s in big part why I’m so committed to my role.

The mentality here is very much about trying to create the best outcomes for everyone.  By this I mean supporting members to achieve their best whilst always striving to exceed client expectations. 

There’s a real growth mindset too, which means we’re always expanding our skills and learning about emerging technologies through a broad range of online courses and development opportunities.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, CGI has a number of flexible roles currently open. To find out more about these, head to our careers page.