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flexible work & schedules

Young Programmer

shift to part time

A full-time employee might be allowed to shift to part-time—either as part of a job share, or simply as a reduction in working hours—and still continue in the same position. This shift can be temporary or permanent.

benefit to employers

  • Increases productivity

  • Increases retention, reducing turnover costs Increases job satisfaction

  • Increases net worth

benefit to families

  • Increases job satisfaction

  • Provides more time to meet family needs

Case Study

case study: Cargill

Part-time work option among
range of alternative work arrangements at global agribusiness

Tracy Johnson worked part time for Cargill for 15 years, while raising her children. Today, as the North American
Employee Relations Leader, Johnson helps position the company as an “employer of choice” in part through flexible, alternative work arrangements. 


“For me the flexibility to work part time made a huge difference in my career and family life,” said Johnson. “I was able to drive forward my career and carry the majority of the childcare responsibilities in a way that worked for my family. I know other women who left the workforce when their children were young and in the end struggled to meet their professional goals. Watching their experience made me appreciate Cargill even more, and I’ve been an engaged and loyal employee since 1998.” 

Johnson thinks that workforce flexibility helps companies retain women in particular, even though all non-production Cargill employees are eligible for alternative work arrangements. Alternative work arrangements is the Cargill policy that provides options beyond the standard work model (in-office, 9 am - 5 pm, five days/week). These include: part-time work, job shares, reduced hours, compressed work week, etc. There also can be flexibility in where the work is done
(office and home). 

From a benefits perspective, employees who work a regular schedule of at least 30 hours a week are eligible for the same benefit programs as full-time employees. Part-time employees working at least 20 but less than 30 hours per week are eligible for a limited medical plan benefit.


While there are some fully remote positions, it is a small percentage of Cargill’s workforce. Salaried and hourly non-production employees can submit an application outlining their proposed alternative work arrangement, which in turn needs to be approved by their manager. (For production employees, see this case study.) 


“At Cargill, we want to be an employer of choice,” said Johnson. “When employees have options, they tend to be committed to the company, appreciating the work-life balance and flexibility. At the same time, the company benefits by attracting and retaining employees across the United States.”

Location:        Wayzata, Minn.

Employees:    155,000
Industry:         Bio-industrial and agriculture
Young Businesswoman

Sample Policy

This policy sample is ready to be tailored to your company’s needs and should be considered a starting point for setting up your employment policies.

Breast Feeding Policy

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