The hospitality business is well-known for its staff having to work odd hours. Whether you’re behind the reception desk at a hotel, working in a bar or restaurant, or living it up as a tour operator, this is one industry that certainly isn’t 9 to 5.
The good news is that many people find shift work and flexible hours an important part of balancing their daily lives. Working evenings behind a bar, for example, gives you plenty of opportunity to study during the day if you’re at college. For those who have family commitments, it can be pretty useful to work in an industry that has flexible hours.
While keeping in touch with friends can be a problem when you work shifts, if you have a family it’s even more important to find ways to organise your time properly. That normally involves a good deal of compromise on the part of everyone involved.
Luckily, the hospitality industry has gotten a lot better at working with employees who have family commitments and need to work at certain times. Many help employees set schedules so that they know when they are working and when they aren’t. For example, a single parent might work split sessions if it’s better for balancing their home life.
One of the biggest problems with shift work is that it can play havoc with your social life. While your friends are heading out to the bar after a long day at work, you’re just starting your shift at the local hotel.
The truth is that many people nowadays work different hours so a bit of preplanning can come in useful if you still want to have a good time and keep in touch with your mates. Using technology can help a lot – there are plenty of apps that allow you to manage your schedule so you can keep in touch and still get out and about.
Of course, one thing you can do is find new friends who work the same hours as you. The key is to make sure you maximise your free time when you have it. For those working in the hospitality industry it’s particularly important to do this, especially when you’re trying to forge a career.
While a lot is said about the potential health impact of working shifts, there are actually a good few benefits. The first is convenience. If you want to spend your day writing your bestselling novel, and only work in the evening, the hospitality industry is the perfect arena to find a job. Alternatively, you might want to take advantage of training opportunities or learn some management skills at college, all of which means you need to be flexible about when and how you work.
Travelling to and from work is also a breeze when you work shifts. You’re not stuck in the jam of rush hour traffic and are able to come and go more easily. You also get to enjoy places like the gym and cinema which are not as busy during the day while other people are out working their standard nine to five.
While there are some things that can be frustrating about shift work, if you like flexibility in your life then it’s got a lot going for it.
Are you looking for a job in hospitality? If so, be sure to search Hospitality Post for the latest vacancies in your area.