I like to think we’re all a generally hard working bunch. I know this because I see so many of you tweeting until well into the late evening letting us all know that you’re still pricing, filling out orders, updating online resources and so on. It’s great to see and proves that many of us are exactly the opposite of the ‘don’t care cowboys’ label our industry has had. So, in this industry specifically, when exactly is the end of the working day?

The rapid advance of mobile technology now means that we can take work anywhere. We can send and receive emails, answer phone calls, send texts, price up jobs, send orders etc. All from the comfort of the sofa at home, or in some cases, the loo! But it does mean that we end up working well past the traditional 5/5:30pm working perimeters. Is this a good thing?

From a business perspective I think so. Those that can work out of hours in our industry are very productive. Work that has been put off a delayed can be caught up on, and the flow of the business carries on unabated. This is important when growing demands on a business get bigger, not smaller. It does then throw up the question of pay. Should those that put in the hours at home, out of normal working hours be rewarded? Or is it simply a case of “it’s their choice, we’re not making them!” Not sure myself, as I do a lot of work out of the office, willingly, knowing I don’t get paid for it.

From a personal perspective I do think there are risks. If you are single, you are free to work until your body collapses, it’s not having an impact on anyone other than yourself. However, if you have a girlfriend, wife, kids or two of those three, working too much can be damaging to home life. Over everything else, families and loved ones are the most important, but that has to be fairly balanced with work so that it can provide for your loved ones. Too much work can have a negative effect on home life and can put stress on family members unnecessarily. I do try and always make as much time for my girlfriend as I can. Though she is good with me when she knows I have to work. But I do consciously make time for us at some point every evening we’re together.

I think the answer to the title of this post is basically unless you are contracted to do strictly set hours, then the end of the working day is when you choose it to be. This is good, providing working life is balanced out with home life fairly, something which is hard to do at the best of times!