The Rise Of The Office Moth!
The company has access to thousands of office workers and businesses across the country and recently asked some of these companies whether long hours and regular late-night unpaid overtime shifts were still a regular occurrence, and if they had seen a rise in the number of people willing to stay late to keep up with their workload or cover for other staff.
The general consensus was “yes” – in fact, many business centres throughout the UK are now beginning to operate 24/7 to cater for the growing demand of “office moths” as the traditional nine to five is fast becoming a thing of the past.
So what is driving this trend? Cited reasons included the rise of the “I want it now” culture which thrives in Britain’s increasingly busy society.
Often, if a customer’s goods and services aren’t immediately available at the touch of a button, they will go elsewhere, so businesses will extend opening hours to fulfil this need. Perhaps this is also a knock-on effect of the customer having to work longer hours themselves.
There is also a rise in overseas trade, and with the differing time zones between far-flung places such as the US and Asia, employees are often working later shifts to meet demand. Other reasons included an increasing number of people working late to “impress the boss” – making sure they arrive before and leave after their superiors – heavier workloads and a rise in skilled professionals in business driving competition for jobs. Ian Frostwick, operations director of Evans Easyspace, which has 48 business centres across the UK looking after more than 1,200 businesses, said: “Based on our experience, it is true to say that working late is still very much on the rise in British business today, and to cater for this growing demand we allow 24/7 access to all Evans business centres. The Evans Easyspace concept is based on flexibility and it is important that our clients can access their workspace any time they need to, and for any length of time. While we don’t wholly advocate the office moth, the reality is that this breed is certainly not in decline.”
Jim Venables, managing director of officebroker.com, said: “While there will always be tunes when each of us can expect to have to work late, say in a business crisis or start-up situation, for example, I believe that when people are working late on a regular basis, not only is there something wrong, but also this is bad for business.
“People’s productivity levels fall when they are tired, overworked or unhappy with their employment situation. Individuals will also be more likely to look outside the company for a new role, causing recruitment and retention problems.
“If a person cannot do the job expected of them in the hours for which they are regularly employed then they are either not up to the job or their job description and the expectations of them are wrong.”
Jim believes this can be bad news for business and says an excess of office moths in the building is something which should ring alarm bells with every business leader.
“Enlightened companies who recognise this to be a problem and set about reducing the number of hours worked over and above a normal working day are not only seeing happier employees, they are also seeing higher productivity levels and a serious reduction in their corporate carbon footprint.