Working hours

I’ve noticed a trend over the past few months – in my team specifically. When 5:30pm comes along, there’s no move to tidy desks, pack bags and put on coats. It’s become the norm to stay at the desk beyond 5:30pm. Most of the team are at the desk before 9:00am. The pressure we all feel from the business to deliver more and more is immense.

It can’t go on.

My worry, as ever, is that people give so much to the business that they become ill, things slip and then they leave because they can’t carry on. The worst fear for me, is actually one of redundancy. Our new CMO started this week and we are all waiting for changes to be announced. I don’t want anyone in my team to be putting  in 120% and giving too much of their personal time to then be faced with ‘your position is no longer needed’. For whatever reason.

Why do we, as professionals, feel the need to give over and above our contracted hours? I’m contracted for 7.5 hrs a day and while I expect a little bit of flexibility to occasionally do 7 hrs (because of a doctor or dentist appointment) I’m finding it more and more incredulous that we’re doing more than 9 hrs a day on a regular basis.

But, does anyone ask us to do this? No. We do it because we feel we have to.

I often ask ‘what would happen if we went home on time’? (As many other people do)? And, I think we’d adjust. The deadlines would be moved to accommodate this, and there’d be less stressed people running around. Well, that’s the theory.

For the past couple of weeks I have been shocked at how much I had under estimated the stress that would be caused by having a new boss on board. Stress in me manifests as health issues and insomnia. I watch and see similar things in my team.

I don’t like it, but feel powerless to do anything other than listen to them, support them where I can and be understanding.

 

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