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What hours are full-time?

While full-time employment may conjure images of monotony and drudgery, it remains a coveted aspiration for many in today’s labor market. In countries like Italy, securing a "posto fisso" or permanent position in public service, bestows a sense of stability and security. The allure of full-time work stems from its inherent benefits, such as financial security, employee benefits provided by the hiring company, and stability. Despite the perceived limitations of full-time work, its appeal endures due to the fundamental human need for security and stability.

Defining full time working hours

Across nations, the definition of what is a full time job is different. Traditionally, there is a particular number of hours to be worked per week, and whatever amount comes on top of the norm is to be paid separately.
  • US. Working hours are at least 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month, on average. By law, minimum wage must be achievable if an employee works 40 hours per week.
  • Europe. The old world is not as workaholic as the new continent. In the Netherlands 29 hours of work per day are enough for a position to be called full time. In France, people work for about 35 hours per week, although they are often forced to work overtime. Eastern Europe seems to be more engaged working up to 40 hours per week.
  • Asia. This part of the world seems to be the most work-oriented. In Thailand, people work for about 48 hours per week, and so do Malaysian workers. Although China and Japan are stated to have regular full time — 40 hours per week, practice shows the attitude to work moves people to be present for longer than required.
The two types of jobs – full-time & part-time – are often compared – EasyStaff

Transparency & Reporting

The common dichotomy is full time vs part time. So it is only logical that part-time is defined in this article as well. Normally, part-time is 0.5 of the full time working hours. The number stretches from 20 to 29 hours per week. As a rule, part-time jobs do not provide any tangible perks, such as pension or insurance investment. Yet it must be noted that part-time positions are usually associated with lower stress levels and improved health.

Last but not least, overtime working hours are any hours of work outside of the official schedule. Employees are entitled to a higher compensation for overtime work. The standard rate is 1.5 of the normal hour rate, and it changes from company to company.
Benefits of full time working hours make people choose this type of work – EasyStaff

Benefits of full time working hours

The range of benefits is different depending on industry, company size and employer. However, the most commonly found advantages are sick leave, parental leave, retirement plans, healthcare plans and paid time off.

Sick leave is days off due to an employee’s health issues (injury or illness). Normally, there is money allocated to sick leave to compensate employees for while they are out of office. However, it is normally a rule that a worker provides papers to prove they were sick. That is, a doctor’s note is considered an excuse for missed time as sick leave.

A retirement plan is a scheme where employees contribute to their pension by deducting part of their salary towards it along with the employer who also contributes to the amount. In the US, there are multiple plans that companies choose to offer their workers. In other countries, there is a set tax deduction to be made.

Parental leave, also known as maternity and paternity leave, is a prolonged time off work that a worker takes to take care of their child. As follows from the name, both a man and a woman can use their parental leave. The period can be as short as six weeks and as long as several years.

Healthcare refers to health insurance where the employer takes part in their employee’s insurance coverage. By pitching in the amount, the company offsets the expense of insurance for the worker and their family. Normally, companies deduct the amount to be paid from their workers' salary.

Paid time off, or PTO, is when an employee is paid, though they remain away from the job. Although sick leaves are considered PTO in some companies, it is not like that for every employer. There are also vacation days that are PTO, and some companies provide an amount of time that workers can take off for any reason.
 Full-time jobs are believed to have a negative impact on a person’s life – EasyStaff

Major controversies around full-time jobs

A full time position gives you a more or less predictable future with clear salary expectations. As you work on a team, you are part of a greater group of professionals. That helps you define yourself and associate yourself with a brand or a business. Yet these benefits come with a high level of commitment. Here’s the dark side of full time employment that needs to be taken into consideration:
  • DIfficult to manage work-life balance. Along with working hours, there come traffic jams to and from work, as well as potentially difficult people at work. Unwinding may not be easy even after you are at home. So, work is virtually always with you, and seeing how much time it takes off of your day (8 hours!), it may be difficult to find time unfilled with work throughout your day.
  • Little to no flexibility. Office jobs or positions that need you to be in place require that you spend multiple hours in a row in a particular place. For example, for a family with kids this may be incredibly difficult.
  • Getting stuck in a comfort zone. The insidious nature of routine can stifle the vigor of full time employment. Its inherent comfort breeds complacency, resulting in a workforce devoid of enthusiasm and a diminished drive for advancement. The absence of inspiration in turn leads to an uninspired career.
Full-time jobs are believed to have a negative impact on a person’s life – EasyStaff

Freelance is an alternative form of employment

Working gigs, one-off side projects, is a common practice today. While some tend to remain in their full time jobs so their freelance income compliments their salaries, others dive right into independent contractor jobs. Ironically, they go into full time freelancing.

A freelancer is an independent contractor who performs jobs for businesses. Freelancers are not full time employees. They are outside professionals that sell their expertise within a single project. There may be recurring projects with a client, but normally freelancers perform a single project and move on.

Freelancers and employees are different in their relationship with the hiring party. Employees are dependent on their employers, hence the tax burden that every employer is subject to. On the contrary, freelancers are independent parties. They manage their taxes themselves, and only expect bare payments from their clients.

The level of control that employees and freelancers are subject to is also different. Employees work within their employer’s premises under their control. Freelancers are able to work wherever they want in any hours they want, but the result must be presented by the set deadline.

These differences are reflected in the type of contracts that workers sign. For a staff member, it is a work contract that declares that a person is employed, i.e. taken care of by their employer. For freelancers, it is a service contract where their independ position relative to their client is stated.

Freelancers definitely do not have access to benefits mentioned above. Of course, they can take time off, but they won’t be paid for it. Their income depends a lot on projects that they find online or through their offline network.

Despite the stress associated with self-employment and freelancing, more and more people consider freelance as a sole income source instead of a corporate job. The choice ultimately boils down to one’s aspiration and ambition. While some may feel trapped in regular working hours wanting to explore more and test themselves in entrepreneurship, others are content with a secure job position that lets them earn enough money to sustain themselves and enjoy life.
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