Flexible working hours and careers

Fear of career stagnation keeps flexible working at bay - Flexible working has not caught on as well as it might as employees fear the impact it may have on their career prospects.

Pensions boss warns we will have to work longer - Britain's retirement age will "undoubtedly" rise in an attempt to plug a looming hole in the country's pension funding, the head of the Pensions Commission said yesterday.

The Newsnight blogger - While the BBC, like every other media organisation, has been scratching its collective head about how to engage with the blogosphere, Newsnight correspondent Paul Mason says he has taken the decision to subscribe to "the JFDI philosophy" - just fucking do it.


Mary P. said...

Employers need to make it easier for employees to "combine work with childcare commitments". Well, thank you for noticing. It's trite but true: I work to live, not live to work.

There's always a tension to it, assuming you have a life outside your work. Time spent at work pays for my "real" life. My real life is what motivates me to work: though I may occasionally resent how much time work takes from my life, my life should not be perceived by my boss as merely a distraction from my work. If my job contributes to the quality of my life, I will be a better employee. If it robs my life of richness, I will be a grumbling, resentful, sullen, and probably far less productive one.

Argos_Employee said...

>Quote "Britain's retirement age will "undoubtedly" rise in an attempt to plug a looming hole in the country's ?>pension funding, the head of the Pensions Commission said yesterday."

If the 'Pensions Comission' says that the retirement age will have to increase causes some problems because if they do increase some people are definetely going to struggle especially in retailing sectors. Take my example; at the store where I work all the lads who are fit enough are either on collection or the stockroom and if they have worked there all their lives, it should be fair that as they got older they should get to do other jobs which require less physical exertion but having the retirement age increase means that they will have to be let go early because the can't have a store full of these guys so they will rely on younger people. There will be no choice I think so they will let go of these people early. Its a shame really with their combined knowledge.

James said...

Thanks for the comments - both of which are extremely insightful. I wish I could regularly get students to come out with examples and opinions of this kind!
First of all, I believe we continually need to be reminded that employers have an insatiable thirst for whatever workers can contribute to their businesses, particularly when run on a 'lean' basis, i.e. the net effect can be particularly damaging if workers do not defend against this increasingly common intrusion into our private lives.
Second, the 'pensions crisis' is a multi-edge sword and I sense that it is set to have a very significant effect on how all of us work, whether we are far from retirement age or not.

Mary P. said...

"Employers have an insatiable thirst". True. I've been outside the system for long enough - homeschooling my children while I taught part-time (now there's an irony for you), and now being self-employed, that I am shocked by the intrusions some of my friends feel they have to put up with. (And, speaking as a former teacher formerly married to a corporate fellow, teaching, with its liberal holiday times, cannot be as life-leaching as 90 hours a week, 50+ weeks of the year!)

I am occasionally shocked by the rights my clients feel they have over me, when, instead of seeing themselves, appropriately, as my clients, the odd ones suddenly sees himself (or herself) as my employer.

The disadvantage of being self-employed is that there is no net at all beyond what you create for yourself (I do pay EI and Canada Pension, but they're paltry); there are no health benefits, company pensions, etc. The advantage of being self-employed is that you are not thereby dependent on anyone else for your net, and thus can't be held hostage by them. True, there is for some that temptation to do more and more and more - but then you're being driven by your own greed, (and it serves you right!). I don't have inflated notions about how much money I need to get by, and thus I have a nice balance of work and the rest of my life. I have had to tell the very occasional client who was trying to act like my employer, that if they don't like it, they can go elsewhere. (Nyah,nyah,nyah...) Keeps me sane!

James said...

Good point about employees - there are often no an innocent party in all of this. Moreover, there is a different dynamic between self-employed service providers and 'clients', although you wouldn't believe it at times!