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June 2022

More than a third of office workers work longer

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More than a third of office workers deliberately spend longer hours in the office than needed in a bid to impress their manager, a new poll has revealed. However, this extra work does not increase productivity and can end up having a detrimental effect on home life.

The research, by, found that 39% of workers regularly stayed late or arrived early during the last year, in a bid to seem more dedicated to their job than their colleagues. Over a quarter (26%) said they consistently worked longer days than were actually needed to do their job effectively.

Employees are filling their time browsing the internet, emailing friends, filing and doing menial, non-urgent tasks such as organising their calendar. They are more likely to stay longer at work when a new boss had been appointed, a pay review was imminent or redundancies were expected.

Those employees working extended hours were found to be committing between an hour and two hours extra a day, adding a minimum of half a day extra to their working week, solely to impress others.

A spokesman from says the ‘faking it’ office phenomenon has poor long-term implications for both the employee and their employer. For workers, it’s better to find a new career which they really love, rather than pretending to enjoy the career they already have.

He said: “The general consensus is that many workers across the country are putting in longer office hours than ever before. What our research has found however is that many are doing it in a bid to improve their office image and win favour, rather than because their workload demands it.

“People are sitting idle in their office in a bid to stand out from the colleagues and impress their bosses. This means a poorer work life balance and ultimately no productivity gains for the firm – just increasingly tired workers – which benefits nobody.

“It was also interesting to note that workers were planning when to put in the longer hours, choosing to spend more time in the office when a pay rise, redundancy or new appointment was on the horizon.”

Over the longer term, careers could be at risk with this strategy however, as management become aware of this tactic and crack down on unproductive tasks in the workplace.

Part time management level careers

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More than 6 million people in the UK now choose to work part time in their career. A flexible, yet high-earning role is much easier to achieve these days.

Overturning traditional employment concepts, CEO’s, senior lawyers, directors of finance and others are choosing to go part time. It is becoming more normal for senior management to expect flexibility. Although often the extent of that flexibility is not publicised to their colleagues or outside the organisation.

Flexible working for mums has been evident in the economy for many years. But the shift in working patterns is not just working mums these days. Karen Mattison MBE, the founder of Timewise, a recruitment service specialising in part-time skilled jobs, says: “More than a third of our candidates are not mothers, and that figure is growing. Many are fathers, high-earning individuals who can survive comfortably with a reduction in salary”.

“Having children is just one of the reasons people may decide to work part-time. Some want to found their own business, go freelance, or need time to care for elderly relatives. For some, it is a lifestyle choice,” says Ms Mattison. “People are willing to forego the extra 25 per cent of salary. They would prefer to enjoy the time.”

The Covid 19 pandemic has also had an effect. Senior workers have been asked to go part time by employers trying to reduce costs. This has made it easier for these workers to make the change they were already considering. And it has allowed businesses to reap the benefits of cost reductions.

Ms Mattison expands: “It enables employers to retain their senior staff in tough times. Growing or cost-cutting businesses can still access high-level talent on a part-time basis, which otherwise would be unaffordable.”

However, those part-timers might prefer that their colleagues do not know their situation. According to a recent study, around a third would not use the word “part-time” to describe their work and 15% prefer to let their fellow workers believe that they are still full time, working from home. Employees can feel that they are not taken as seriously as full-timers and that this has negative connotations. The suggestion of ‘part time’ can mean that clients feel that their needs aren’t being met 24/7.

But times are changing, and businesses are seeing the benefits of part time roles, particularly in senior positions. This creates opportunities for some to pursue a complete career change or go freelance. They can reflect on their lifestyle and work/life balance or mentor young ones and school leavers. At the same time, they can allow the businesses to benefit from their knowledge and experience whilst reducing costs.

What career is right for you

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Are you thinking about finding a new career? Here are some tips on how to market yourself effectively to employers.

Look at your motivations

The first and most important question to ask yourself is ‘what is the best career for me?’. What makes you happy? What are you interested in? It sometimes feels like an impossible task to pin down what it is you want to do, or what career is right for you. But if you can answer this question, you are far more likely to be happy and succeed in your career.

If you can’t do this by yourself, then go to a careers advice service for help. Careers Analysts’ trained career counsellors are experts in helping you uncover what career is perfect for you.

Create a plan

Once you have figured out the best career for you, make a plan of action. Write down your career plan in detail. Actions, timescales and other notes will help you focus, as well as giving you that feeling of satisfaction when you begin to tick things off your list!

Identify options, define your goals and develop your plan as you go along. This will help you feel in control of your job search. You will focus on your tasks better and give yourself a head start over less organised candidates!

Revise your CV

You might think your CV is fine, but the job market has changed and less and less time is given to looking over CVs. Yours needs to stand out from the crowd, and contain all the relevant information in a clear, structured way.

Waffle, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and irrelevant information are all ways that may cause your CV to be passed over without a second thought. Make sure you are giving yourself the best possible chance of an interview by tailoring your CV to each role, and ask others for their feedback. If you can find a friend that regularly recruits, or works within your chosen industry, even better!

Market yourself

If you do need help with marketing yourself, Career Analysts has an approach that helps you focus on tasks to get you in front of the right people, at the right company.

The plan involves planning, preparing, launching and monitoring your campaign, including:

  • Writing your CV and covering letters
  • Identifying opportunities and applying for them in the right manner
  • Preparing you for success at the interview stage

It’s a great way to focus and refresh your job search. Good luck!

To find out more, click here

How can a gap year help your career?

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Taking a gap year between A-Levels and university, or travelling the world after you graduate, can have a positive effect on your future career.  Whether you travel through Europe, volunteer in Africa, Asia or South America, or pick up work experience back home, you can gain some real skills and great experience from this precious time.

Even if you are not sure what career is right for you yet, there are still a number of advantages you can get from the experience. You can:

Gain new skills

Whether it’s a new language, organisation skills or an insight into different cultures, the abilities you pick up along the way can enhance your future employability. Even the planning you undertake before you set out on your gap year shows resourcefulness that employers can appreciate.

Try out different roles

If you don’t know what you’d like from your future career, a gap year is a great time to experience different industries. Volunteering to work in different sectors, even for a short time, can help you gain perspective into what your future career could be like.

Find out more about yourself

Finding what career is best for you comes from knowing who you really are – your goals, motivations, strengths and preferences. This is the perfect time to explore what makes you tick. Push yourself to try new things, make new friends and explore. This will help you feel more attuned to who you are, and what career would suit you.

Gain work experience

If you already have a clear plan for your career, this is an ideal time to approach companies within your chosen field to undertake work experience or internships. The experience you gain now will be invaluable, not only in the knowledge that you acquire, but in the contacts that you make.

Think about your CV

While planning your trip or work experience, think ahead about your CV. As you progress through your gap year, take notes on the lessons and skills you have learned. You may not even know what you want to do yet but having a great CV that makes the most of your gap year is a great start!