Flexing into shape: The beauty of flexible working

Everyone at some point will struggle balancing both their work and personal life. However, some people may find it difficult to commit to a full-time job due to various reasons such as finding childcare, education, taking care of dependents and health conditions. However within hospitality careers, there are a lot of options that will allow you to work flexibly.

At the eleventh hour

In hospitality jobs, you will be surprised at how often staggered hours are adopted. These shifts will allow you to have different start and finish times in order for businesses to cover longer opening hours. It is recommended that you speak to your manager about what times are most suitable for you.
You could even compress your working hours so you work what you owe but over a shorter period of time. You will find that some businesses would prefer this, such as a hotel that runs 24 hours. It may also be wise to ask about organising your working hours annually, rather than weekly. Not only will this allow you to be flexible with your time, but it may benefit businesses that have certain busy seasonal periods.

Flexi-time will allow you to vary both your starting and finishing shifts, with many employers giving you a series of time slots to choose from. This of course will vary depending on what sector within the hospitality field you are working. Some firms may even allow you to come in at any time as long as you do your owed shift, or if you have previously covered for someone sick, so be sure to ask what options are available.

The graveyard shift

Depending on the company you are working for, shifts can be both flexible and swapped. Shift working is very common in the hospitality sector due to restaurants and bars extending beyond the nine-to-five hours, so you may find that it is easy to start swapping shifts with your fellow colleagues.

You can obviously reduce the amount of shifts you work by choosing to work part-time, especially over evenings and weekends. By law, you will be owed the same rights and pay to a full-time employee. Similarly, term-time working will allow you to work either full- or part-time, but you can have unpaid leave for up to nine weeks if you have educational commitments. Generally, temping for casual work over summer or Christmas periods, for a bit of extra cash, is an option to consider.
With the arrival of new technology, it may even be possible to work your shifts from home. If your job is more admin-based, such as being a hotel inspector, you may want to base yourself at home so you can keep an eye on the home and kids.

Either way, there are limitless opportunities when it comes to working in hospitality.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you with hospitality careers.