Types of Work: From Flexible to Part-Time and Everything in Between

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There are loads of jobs out there that give you flexibility. Are you on the hunt for a part-time job? Do you want to explore new career opportunities? Familiarise yourself with the different types of work out there and see what is best for you.


Due to several factors – including the ageing population and a post-pandemic world – our ideas and approach to work and the workplace are rapidly changing, calling for employers to think outside the box and offer more flexible arrangements.

Furthermore, the notion of ‘a job for life’ has faded in the last decade. We are living longer than ever before, yet have an outdated approach to life that sees it in three limiting stages – education, career and retirement. When in fact, it isn’t that simple.

More and more, we’re seeing people over 50 who don’t want to retire, who have ‘unretired’, or who want to change their careers later in life. Thankfully, despite common preconceptions about work always needing to be the standard 9 to 5, it doesn’t have to be so rigid.

The reality is types of work come in all shapes and sizes and you can find what works best for you. Do you want a part-time job with a four-day weekend? Go for it! How about a flexible contract with volunteer work on the side? It’s all yours!

In this guide, we’ll look at all of the different types of work: from part-time to flexible and everything in between.

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1. Full-Time Work Options

Full-time employees typically work a set number of hours a week and are usually paid a salary. This means that you are not paid on an hourly basis and receive a stable, fixed income.


  • Reliable income regardless of the exact number of hours you worked that week. This means that your pay won’t be docked for taking a long lunch break or leaving an hour earlier from work for whatever reason: pretty cushy, eh?
  • Salary-based pay is typically reserved for individuals who hold higher positions within a company.


  • Full-time careers offer less flexibility than other work options. So, if you have a lot of other responsibilities that pull you in many directions, this may not be the best option for you.

Want to find a new full-time job with an age-inclusive employer? Check out our jobs portal here.

2. Part-Time Work Options

Part-time work refers to employees who typically work less than 30 hours a week. Part-time workers are more likely to be paid hourly, but you should still get the same hourly pay rate as a full-timer doing a similar job.

Working reduced hours in a week means that you can enjoy more time off, fulfil your other responsibilities or even have multiple jobs on the go. As a part-time employee, you are still eligible for minimum wage and statutory sick pay.


  • You can gain experience in multiple fields at once.
  • Increased flexibility.
  • Increased time off.


  • You won’t earn as much as if you worked full-time.

Thinking about switching to a part-time job? Here’s a list of some of the best part-time remote jobs if you’re in your 50s and 60s.

3. Flexible Work Options

Flexible work refers to a broad range of jobs. Essentially, flexible work means that both your hours and your pay can change from week to week.

Examples of flexible work include:

  • Online tutoring.
  • Casual trades work.
  • Consulting.
  • Plumber.

Most self-employed jobs are also classed as flexible, as it’s up to you how much you work.

Flexible jobs can also offer more options in terms of location, meaning you may not be tied down to a specific region. For example, tutoring students online doesn’t require you to be in any particular place; just so long as you have a laptop and a desire to educate, you’re good to go!

Find flexible jobs with age-inclusive employers here.


  • You have greater power over when and how much you work, so you can allocate yourself as much spare time as you like.


  • Unless you have it specified in a contract with an employer, you may not be eligible for perks such as minimum wage and statutory sick pay.
  • Your hours may vary so you might lack a consistent, stable income.

4. Volunteer Work Options

Volunteer work is the only type of work on our list that is not paid. Often one might volunteer at a charitable organisation or a local school, with the intent of giving back to the community.

Volunteer work is paramount to helping those in need. It can also provide you with a good outlet to stay integrated within your community when you retire and gives you something to keep your mind busy.


  • You get to feel a sense of accomplishment and goodwill for helping others.
  • It gives you a reason to keep active and busy if you have no need for a steady income.


  • Work is unpaid.

5. Temporary Work Options

Temporary work, as the name suggests, refers to employees who are hired on a short-term basis.

Employers may take on temporary workers for a variety of reasons. For example, you may be covering for a full-time employee who is on extended leave. Alternatively, you may be taking on seasonal work such as in retail during the busy Christmas period.


  • A great option for workers who only want to work for a short period of time in any given role.


  • Work is only short-term, so you can’t rely on the income for a longer period of time.
  • If you’ve been with the company for less than 12 weeks, you don’t have the same rights as someone who is hired permanently.

6. On-Call Work Options

On-call work is a type of work that requires employees to be available for certain hours of the week.

One example of such work is an on-call firefighter. On-call firefighters make themselves available for a certain number of hours per week. For example, if you were to be on-call for 15 hours a week, then you don’t necessarily work any of those hours – you simply make yourself available so that, if a fire were to break out, you’d be able to rush in from wherever you were and put it out.

You receive pay based on the number of hours you are on-call for and you are also eligible for overtime if required.


  • Can receive a great pay packet without needing to work many hours.


  • You will need to make sure you can get to work on short notice.

7. Fixed-Term Contract Work

Fixed-term contract work is when an individual worker or group of workers are hired for a fixed period to complete a specific task. For example, when construction workers are hired for a particular job, they will often be on fixed-term contracts that expire once the task is complete.


  • A great option for workers who only want to work for short projects.


  • Work is fixed-term, so you can’t rely on the income beyond the given time frame.

8. Zero-Hour Contract Work

Zero-hour contracts are otherwise known as casual contracts. Zero-hour workers are not guaranteed to get work in any given week, so your hours will vary depending on the employer’s needs. Zero-hour workers are not entitled to the statutory minimum notice and so can be dismissed at any point.


  • You can pick and choose as and when you work, so you can work no hours one week and full-time the next, as long as your employer needs you.
  • You have the same rights as other regular workers.


  • Working hours are unreliable.
  • You could an be dismissed at any point.

9. Agency Work Options

Agency work is when employees work for an agency and work for many different companies as and when they are required. For example, if a retail company is short-staffed, then they will reach out to an agency to get a temporary worker to fill in.

The agency is responsible for making sure that the employee is treated fairly in the workplace. You are likely to work for many different companies in short periods of time as an agency worker.


  • After 12 weeks in the same role, the worker is entitled to all the same rights as any other worker in that company.
  • It gives you the ability to try out different jobs with different companies.
  • Agency work typically pays slightly more than permanent staff.


  • Working hours are unreliable.

10. Passive Income Work Options

The final item to address is not necessarily a type of work, per se. However, generating passive income has many of the same characteristics of other work types: namely, it generates income!

Passive income refers to income that you receive without having to invest significant time or money into it. For example, if you were to write a book, then the money you make from the sale of that book would be classed as passive income, as you don’t have to put in work once the book has been published.

Other examples include renting out property and selling an online course: once you put in the initial work, you can sit back and watch the money roll in.


  • Generates income without having to work consistently.


  • May require an upfront investment of time and money before you can reap the rewards.
  • May require a specialist skill set or experience of value to share.

Resources To Help You Find Your Next Career

Here are some extra resources to help you find your next career:

  • Jobs/Redefined portal: A jobs portal for age-inclusive work opportunities.
  • Noon: Learn how to rethink your mid-life and make a successful career transition.

Life/Redefined careers: Advice and resources to help you navigate your next career change.