The Rise of the Office Moth: working late into the night is bad for business
Founded by entrepreneurs Jim Venables and Andy Haywood in 2001, officebroker.com is the UKΓÇÖs leading online office broker and a multi-million pound enterprise.
The company is in a unique position in that it 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.
And the general consensus was ΓÇÿyesΓÇÖ ΓÇô in fact many Business Centres throughout the UK are now beginning to operate 24/7 to cater for the growing demand of ΓÇÿoffice mothsΓÇÖ 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 ΓÇÿI want it nowΓÇÖ culture which thrives in BritainΓÇÖs increasingly busy society. Often if a customerΓÇÖs goods and services arenΓÇÖt 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 USA and Asia, employees are often working later shifts to meet demand.
Other reasons included an increasing number of people working late to ΓÇÿimpress the bossΓÇÖ – 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 currently has 48 business centres open across the UK looking after over 1200 businesses said: ΓÇ£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 anytime they need to, and for any length of time. While we donΓÇÖt wholly advocate the office moth, the reality is that this breed is certainly not in decline.ΓÇ¥
Commenting on these findings Jim Venables, Managing Director of officebroker.com, said: ΓÇ£While there will always be times 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.ΓÇ¥
Ian Frostwick, operations director, Evans Easyspace
ΓÇ£PeopleΓÇÖs productivity levels fall when they are tired, overworked or unhappy with their employment situation,ΓÇ¥ continued Jim. ΓÇ£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.ΓÇ¥
Jim believes this can be bad news for business and says an excess of ΓÇÿoffice mothsΓÇÖ in the building is something which should ring alarm bells with every business leader. ΓÇ£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.ΓÇ¥