Is It Time To Go Home?!

9am to 5:30pm – Until now the most common working hours in the country but the explosion in flexible working, especially since become a legal right to request, means that most people don’t work these hours any more!

Whilst most jobs technically finish at 17:30pm – at least according to the employee contract – the vast majority of people either stay past this time either by a few minutes or several hours. If you have an individual who doesn’t stay late or leaves as soon as the clock hit that magic leaving time then it can start a number of tongues wagging and could lead the manager to question an individual’s commitment levels.

If the whole office is still working and one person leaves this could create a great deal of animosity and disrupt the team spirit that had taken so long to develop. But are we correct in this? Most people spend evenings checking work emails on their phone which is a “commitment” from the employee that an employer may never notice!

We all need a work / life balance some more than others depending on outside commitments – i.e. children etc – and if we are fully committed to the cause during our “contracted hours” then what’s the problem? Flexible working makes employee commitment even more difficult to measure as unless company’s are tracking the times people are “logging on” then who’s to say the individual is only doing a few hours work each day and the rest of the time is being spent catching up on their Netflix lists! …But if the employee is achieving or exceeding all that is demanded of them does it matter how long they work each day?

One story that was told several years ago was of an individual, who we shall name Bob. Now Bob was a very hard working individual who had always stayed late whenever he needed to and was early into work every day. Bob did this so much that the senior management took it for granted that he would do so and were angry when due to other circumstances he was no long able to do so and he was even called into the Senior Manager’s office and berated for the lack of commitment! This immediately disappointed Bob who started to look for a new job where he would not be taken for granted and he left only a short while later.

This is a very illuminating story as it is easy to see how much an employee could be taken for granted and the dissatisfaction that can arise from both parties when people’s commitment is question. We all want job satisfaction and to be rewarded for our efforts but if you are doing an extra 30 minutes a day every day you work in the year – roughly 230 days per year – would equal an extra four and a half days you have given of your time to the business… So what have you done with this extra week at work? Spent it wisely or squandered it on unimportant jobs or things that could have waited until you got back into the office the following day?

Now you might be asking what has this got to do with Sales careers and finding a new job? Simple – If you are a hiring Manager who looks after a team and wants to hold onto your employees who help attract new talent do not take your staffs commitment for granted – even if it is a simple word in their ear and a thank you just to let them know that you have noticed.

If you are unhappy in your job and are actively seeking a new opportunity try not the alter your daily schedule and working practices to much as it might raise a red flag to your manager. This is especially true if you are seeking a new position because you feel undervalued by your current company and no long want to go the “extra mile” for them. You can also use these additional levels of commitment to help sell yourself in an interview. Whilst most people focus on the remuneration on offer for their existing or potential new role there are a number of non-financial rewards that could be on offer to the hard working individual who can show that they are not afraid to put in long hours and plenty of hard work.


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