Part-Time-Leadership: On the road to more efficiency and flexibility

Executives and people in leading positions should be present 24/7? These times are over. At Kaufland e-commerce, we make it possible to work in part-time – despite a leading role. We want to show you how this can look like, which advantages this model entails and how our employees are managing their role as leaders in part-time.


Working in part-time: A trend which is rising in popularity. A healthy work-life-balance becomes more and more important which makes part-time not the exception anymore. Whether it’s 25 or 35 hours – at Kaufland e-commerce we will find the perfect solution for you, customized to your needs. We don’t have any set-in-stone-models. But does this apply to people in leading positions as well? According to a study of the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft, 13 percent of all executives worked part-time in 2023. We offer this option at Kaufland e-commerce as well. Learn why in the next paragraph.


Why we support leading in part time as an employer


Working part-time has a number of advantages, which we at Kaufland e-commerce live and support. We make no distinction here, even for management positions.

The advantages of part-time work:

  1. Flexibility: Picking up the kids from daycare, accompanying mom to her doctor’s appointment or simply relaxing at a yoga class: Part-time work makes many things possible that would otherwise be left aside. At Kaufland e-commerce, we offer flexible working hours and the opportunity to work remotely for both full-time and part-time employees. Working part-time, you benefit from an even better work-life balance.
  2. Health and Well-Being: Part-time work can reduce stress and the risk of burnout as there is more time for rest and relaxation. This can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health.
  3. 3. Opportunities for New Work Ideas and Further Education: A part-time job, evening studies or a position as a coach for a junior team: part-time employees have more time to pursue other projects, further their education or get involved in volunteer projects. This can expand professional skills and, in consultation with the Team Lead and our HR, create additional sources of income.
  4. 4. Inclusivity: Part-time work can be a way to integrate people into the working world who are unable to work full-time for various reasons. This creates more diversity and inclusivity in the company.


What leaders should consider if they want to work part-time


Despite the many benefits of part-time work, employees – especially people in leading positions – need to be aware of what is expected of them and their position. This can be particularly challenging for people with an executive responsibility. Clear goals and tasks, good organization and planning as well as communication with the team are essential here to make the part-time model a success.


And how does it work in practice?


Let us introduce our colleagues Teodor, Nina and Anna, who all hold management positions and work part-time. Read about their experiences and lessons learned from their job here:



Teodor is Head of Product in our Tech & Product department. When he became a father, he realized that his full-time job didn’t leave him the amount of time with his family that he wanted.

I approached my lead and asked him how many hours I could reduce without compromising my position as Head of Product. We agreed on 32 hours – the only condition: I will work every day of the week, but for shorter hours.

This model means that Teodor is available to his employees every day despite working part-time.

But how did his team react to the reduced working hours?

My team has accepted the new model well. I think it’s mainly because my performance hasn’t suffered under the new conditions. Of course, I also see the big challenge here: if my performance gets worse or if a lot of tasks are left unfinished, then problems can arise.

These challenges are real and certainly the reason why a part-time model as a leader seems out of the question for many. Teodor is particularly grateful for the opportunity to work remotely at Kaufland e-commerce.

Thanks to working remotely, time management works very well, as I can use my hours as efficiently as possible and still have family time again quickly.

But mobile work is not the only reason why part-time management functions so well for Teodor.

In my opinion, good time management is particularly important. In addition, there is excellent expectation management, hard prioritization of topics and a strong team that I can rely on. I’m saving a lot of time thanks to asynchronous, clear communication and few but effective meetings.



Nina is Head of Retail Media in our Online Marketing department. After her parental leave, she returned to work with a 20-hour model spread over four days. After a few months, she increased the workload to 25 hours from Monday to Thursday – she doesn’t work for Kaufland e-commerce on Fridays.

I opted for the part-time model because I started a second job as a mom 😉 Even though there is definitely enough work for a full-time job, I would still like to spend sufficient time with my daughter during the week, especially now that she is still so young. To make sure I have a few hours to myself and to be able to take care of appointments, chores etc. on my own, I have divided my working hours so that I have a day off on Fridays (at least while my daughter is at day care). I actually followed the advice of some mom friends and am still very happy about it today!


Naturally, the part-time model brought a number of challenges for her as a manager – especially because her team has grown considerably recently, and Nina wants to offer each of her team members enough time for personal exchange. 

I see the biggest challenge as a part-time leader in the fact that the number of meetings has increased enormously with the growing number of team members and, at the same time, the amount of projects and topics we are involved in. As a result, I spend a large part of my working day in meetings.

In order to manage this workload, Nina regularly checks whether there are any appointments that she can cancel. She has also completely restructured her workday so that she can get everything done in the time available to her.

Fortunately, I have a really wonderful team that makes it relatively easy for me as well as a very understanding and relaxed lead who gives me complete freedom in terms of how I organize my working hours.

An understanding, motivated team is the be-all and end-all for successful part-time management. Luckily, Nina can rely on that:

My team handles my decision for part-time work very well. They know exactly what my working hours are and usually bring up all their questions and issues in our regular 1:1s or team meetings.

However, what has now settled into place had to be established at first. Nina quickly learned that a well-maintained calendar is essential for part-time management.

At the beginning of my part-time job in particular, it was relatively common for me to be scheduled for appointments outside my working hours – I first had to learn how to highlight my working hours without feeling guilty. Fortunately, since I have simply entered regular blockers in my calendar, this no longer happens so often.

Leading part-time – a conclusion from Nina:

Overall, I think that part-time leadership can work well, although it does come with a few challenges. In any case, I really appreciate the fact that I have this opportunity at KEC, as this is not a given in all companies.

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Anna is Head of Data Science. Nonetheless, she decided to work part-time. Her model: She works 32 hours for Kaufland e-commerce.

In the fast-paced world of data science, the conventional perception of leadership often involves a full-time commitment. However, as the head of data science on a part-time contract, I’ve found that effective leadership is not about the quantity of hours but the quality of management.


Since more than 2 years, Anna is executing her role in part-time. By doing so successfully, she could take away these key factors and learnings through her role as a part-time leader:

Flexibility as a Core Skill: Being a part-time leader requires a high degree of flexibility. Adapting swiftly to challenges without compromising quality is essential. Flexibility doesn’t mean sacrificing excellence; it’s about finding creative solutions within a condensed timeframe.

Advance Planning and Communication: Successful part-time leadership requires thorough planning and transparent communication. Structuring my schedule and communicating expectations in advance fosters a culture of accountability and builds trust within the team.

Calendar Management: A well-maintained calendar is my secret weapon in the part-time leadership landscape. It serves as a visual representation of my availability, helping me signal to the team when I’m in or out. This level of transparency reduces ambiguity and facilitates better planning for everyone involved.

Supportive Team Dynamics: The success of part-time leadership hinges on a supportive team. Understanding and acknowledgment of individual circumstances create a positive work environment. A team that respects and adapts to the part-time structure significantly contributes to overall success.

No Room for Misjudgements: In my current role, I’ve experienced acceptance rather than scepticism about my part-time choice. A supportive team and management foster an environment where diverse contributions are appreciated, avoiding unwarranted judgments about physical or mental well-being, as well as family circumstances.

Anna‘s take away:

Part-time leadership, when approached with the right mindset, skills, and support, can thrive. My journey in data science showcases the effectiveness of efficient organization, flexibility, and transparent communication. If you’re juggling multiple responsibilities or seeking a more flexible work structure, part-time leadership might be the solution you’ve been looking for.