Thursday, 9 March 2017

Working 9 to 5 …. What a way to make a living!

This is an article written in 2013 however still has relevance 4 years on ...
Well, that was the famous song in the late 70’s, when woman were trying to have it all and were desperately trying to compete in the board room while juggling family life and yes, most people were working 9 to 5pm.  How things have changed ….

Dolly Parton has recently brought her musical version of the film to the Edinburgh Playhouse and having had the good fortune to go along; this feel good show certainly gave me some food for thought.  Set in the late 70’s there were no computers just type writers, no mobile phones and most people  clocked in at 9am and left at 5pm.  Our working lives have changed so much since then and although we have far more technology help to make us  more productive and efficient, there’s still the day to day juggle of family life that has to be taken into consideration for both men and women.  We have converted work patterns over the years so there is no longer a 9 to 5 mentality in most work places however that brings it’s own pressure of having the facility to work 24/7, another challenge.

Having gone through one of the worst recessions we have known it has made employers and employees revaluate their life/work balance and there have been some interesting evolvements, particularly over the last 4 years.  Employers are more aware that their survival and growth works hand in hand with how happy their employees feel at work as this will also result in longevity and commitment.  As such they have been far more responsive to part-time workers as it has been a good resource to save on their cash flow while still getting the job done. Working from home for a number of positions has also had some great advantages however if this is not done correctly it can be disruptive for all involved.  We have seen a massive surge in the amount of people working on a self employed basis doing consultancy work, again this creates opportunities that can be mutually beneficial but isn’t always as straight forward as it would seem.

Working on a consultancy basis may seem attractive but it’s the back office challenges you have to take into consideration that working for a larger organisation you very rarely notice.  Admin, IT, accounts and suppliers all need to be dealt with no matter how much work you are bringing in and they are the thing’s that usually eat away extra hours or money if you outsource.   Most people who give up a job to become a self employed consultant do so as they want more flexible working arrangements and to earn more money however statistics show that in the first 3 years, most work longer hours than they have ever worked and for less money.

All the flexibility that employers now show and that we look for in a job comes down to one thing …. Are we happy in our work?

Data gathered since 2006, shows that people everywhere feel less confidant, motivated, loyal, resilient, committed and engaged.  Research, involving 9,000 people from around the world, reveals some astonishing findings. Employees who report being happiest at work:

· Stay twice as long in their jobs as their least happy colleagues

· Spend double their time at work focused on what they are paid to do

· Take ten times less sick leave

· Believe they are achieving their potential twice as much

If you’re really happy at work, you’ll solve problems faster, be more creative, adapt fastest to change, receive better feedback, get promoted quicker and earn more over the long-term.

So in 2013 we will see yet more changes in the workplace, fortunately there should be more opportunities whether that is promotional, working patterns or new jobs coming to the market place as companies put their growth strategies back in place.  So to quote another old time favourite ‘come on along get happy’ …is this your time for New Year, New Job?

Pauline Dickson is the Director of Dickson Lewis and the Director for Scotland of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP)
Dickson Lewis offers one to one career coaching and through workshops Dickson Lewis is based at Wemyss House, 45 Frederick Street, Edinburgh Tel: 0131 225 2000 e-mail:

No comments:

Post a Comment