I was just reading the Event Juice Blog, ‘it’s not all festivals & parties after all’ in the events industry and the young ones coming in need to realise this . Whilst reading the blog I thought about the other end of the spectrum, the more how should I say, mature event personnel, at 42 I think I fall into this camp.

In the events industry we have long hours, lack of breaks, too much food & alcohol and it can be rather stressful. Not ideal for the over 40’s one might say, if we were bankers we would be in Monte Carlo on a beach by now.

I am one of the more fortunate ones, I saw the challenges ahead and ensured I surrounded myself with a team that can deliver and do not need to be micromanaged. In fact, I think they would be insulted if I attended their events. I know some of you are not so fortunate and still are running around at 1am boxing off events and up at stupid o clock to head to the airport for a client meeting that will be cancelled as the plane taxis off.

However as the work force begins to age (in 2006 the UK had 11.3 million people aged over 65 and by 2040 we will have 16million) and as pensions diminish (thanks baby boomers) all of us will have to work longer. So what’s the solution?

The working week can only get shorter. One article I read recently talked of a four day week (source), this cuts travel to work (good for the environment), helps parents with managing child care and allows for a more flexible and happy work force.

I have always wondered why everyone runs to get to the office for 9am? Surely not everyone needs to be there? If the Prime Minister can take the kids to school I am sure your company can adapt too. Ladies maybe you could do your make up in the bathroom and not on the tube if you left a few minutes later, then we will all be happy and dust free.

In the Merlin Events office, we stagger shifts with the team doing 9-5, 9.30-5.30 & 10-6. On an event day, start time is normally midday, they will still work a 12 hour day however it’s far better than a 15/16 hour day. I am flexible with the team if they wish to take an extended lunch so they can go to the gym when it is quieter. This works out perfectly when they are coming in early or staying late for client show rounds. It amazes me how people go to work for 9am have lunch at 12.30pm and then go to the gym at 5.45pm and do the same thing day after day? Why would you do this when half the world is doing exactly the same as you!

The business can benefit from giving the more mature members of the team more flexibility, retaining grey matter and allowing junior team members to develop and earn extra money when doing overtime it’s a win, win for companies & employees.

Now the flexible working legislation 2014 has arrived, Merlin events will be looking at how we can implement this even further. Do you think your company will embrace the 2014 legislation or will it be dragged through by your employees?

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