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How Product Manager Bella Wu Moved to Germany and Experienced Part-Time Work

A dive into the more established part-time work culture in Germany

👋 Hey, Ernie here! Don’t forget that we have a subscriber chat in the iOS app with some good threads going on various topics in part-time work!

Second, if you’ve been actively looking for part-time work in the tech industry, I’d love to talk to you, hear how your experience has been, and also share some advice based on what I’ve learned. Don’t be shy, reach out!

This episode’s podcast guest is Bella Wu. She’s an American Product Manager and former co-worker of mine from HubSpot. She moved to Germany in 2019 and learned about how part-time work is not only accepted, but legally protected there. We talk about how this manifests at her current company, Dance, her experience doing 90% time, and how it impacts work and life. Seeing part-time work in another country challenges our deep-rooted assumptions about work is “supposed” to look like.

Watch on YouTube, listen online, or wherever you get your podcasts.

No time to listen? Here are three takeaways from chatting with Bella. 

🇩🇪 Germany has labor laws that protect part-time work

According to the Part-Time and Fixed-Term Employment Act (tzBfG), employees who have been at a company greater than six months, and with a staff of over 15 people, must be allowed to reduce their working hours unless there  are significant impacts to the business. There are also additional laws allowing employees to go part-time for a period of time and return full-time later on.  

📆 Part-Time is not just by week

Traditionally, we think of part-time as working some amount of hours fewer than 40 per week. However, some people, including our first podcast guest, consider part-time on an annual scale. Some people prefer to work a normal 40 hour/week schedule, but take entire months off during the year. Considering part-time as not just a weekly thing may provide additional options for flexibility that fit your lifestyle. 

🕥 Part-Time work, works

German tech companies like Dance are evidence that you can mix part-time and full-time employees and still run a successful, productive company. Ultimately, part-time will work depending on the type of culture that exists at a company; does your company measure productivity in hours or actual value delivered?

Know someone who would be a great guest for the pod? Drop us a line @parttimetech_io.

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