Long, unsociable hours - tipping point in 2022?

Posted on 10 Jan, 2022

A survey at the end of 2021 by the job website CV-Library carried a potent warning for employers. It questioned 2,000 people in employment and found 3 in 4 were considering handing in their notice during 2022, while almost as many respondents planned to retrain or improve their skills.

This super-charged intent to shift jobs has even been given a moniker - ‘The Great Resignation’ - referring to a wave of workers planning to part company with their employers. When asked why resignation featured in their future plans, many of those taking part in the survey said they wanted more flexible working arrangements, while a third admitted they simply felt ‘burnt out’.

Although a relatively small sample size with a broad spectrum of participants, the survey results can’t be ignored, especially by the property industry. Just weeks after the CV-Library survey, Nested published the results of its estate agency working patterns research.

The hybrid estate agency questioned 564 estate agents with regards to their hours and days of work, with findings that feed directly into the reasons why some people are planning to resign. Long days and unsociable hours were recurring themes, with 28% commenting that they worked over-and-above the traditional 9-to-5 every single day of the working week, while 23% said they also worked weekends in order to manage their workload.

Part of the problem seems to stem from the new expectations of home movers, who assume they’ll get a response from an estate agent outside of traditional office hours. While 64% of estate agents taking part in the research said they received buyer/seller enquiries outside of the 9-5, there also appears to be pressure on agents to accommodate every viewing appointment, no matter the time or day of the request.

In fact, the Nested research was very specific when it came to accommodating property viewings. When agents were asked ‘how often do you carry out property viewings outside of the hours of 9-5 or at weekends?’, 31% responded ‘very often’ and 44% said ‘somewhat often’.

These two new reports pose the question: how many agents are facing burn out, feel overworked and are planning to resign? And let’s add into the equation the fact some agents may be among those resigning and retraining, leaving the property sector altogether.

Viewber has always advocated for a better work-life balance and hearing about agents putting in 10, 11 and even 12 hour days on a regular basis is something we feel we can help with.

Viewber is an accompanied viewings and inspection service equivalent to the popular call answering company Moneypenny, for instance – we kick in outside traditional office hours or during busy periods.

Although we attract professionals who work flexibly and cover evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays – the hours many agents would prefer to be at home with their families – we also cover usual office hours.

Whether it’s to reduce working hours, stave off burn out, encourage staff loyalty or to create a fair set of working hours for new recruits, switching to Viewber for unsociable-hours accompanied viewings and property visits makes perfect sense in 2022.

There’s no minimum commitment when you sign up to Viewber and our nationwide network is available at short notice – perfect for times when the most desirable house hits the market and there’s a rush of evening and weekend viewing requests.

If you’d like to know more about our services, get in touch.

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