Why don’t people want to work after 5pm?
I must start by wishing my son Johnathan a very happy birthday today — May 3.I’ve noticed that many people don’t want to work after 5pm. There are a number of persons who think that if their working hours are 9-5, that is all that they should do.Well, that is an old and dated way of thinking, which is no longer sustainable. I remember Mr Philip Butterfield, then CEO of HSBC/Bank of Bermuda, once famously saying, ”It’s not what you do from 9-5 that gets you ahead, promoted or advanced in your career and life; it’s what you do outside (meaning before and after) those hours that makes people successful, high achievers, etc“.The point that he was making is that in order to get ahead, you have to do more. We continue to be dumbfounded by people who don’t understand how to get ahead. But that is only one side of this issue.We have businesses that would like to open later but we have a team of people blocking them. We have staff who just don’t want to work; we have the churches who have objected to businesses being open on Sundays; we have legislation that must be changed to allow retailers to open longer; and then we have the unions who protect the rights of employees (as they are meant to do) and have not been open to the concept, unless it is to be paid at overtime premium rates or according to Collective Bargaining Agreements. You don’t stay open to lose money; paying people premium rates kills any profit you might make by staying open later. This is not sustainable.We need to understand that it is not practical for a person to shop during the work day; it just doesn’t work. Hear me out. Let’s say that a person wants to go shopping and buy some retail items. Let’s also assume that if said person has the disposable income to actually go shopping, they have a job. Chances are that the individual’s working hours are 9-5. If they have the disposable income to go shopping they probably get in early and leave late, meaning 8 to 6 or 8.30am to 5.30pm on days they might want to catch a store after work.So in reality, if retailers operate 9-5 the only time that the would-be shopper can shop is on their lunch break. But let’s assume that they might like to eat something on that lunch break and let’s assume that break is an hour.We all know that in some instances, service in Bermuda is not so speedy. So if the would-be shopper walks five minutes to get something to eat, stands in line for another five, places their order, eats for 10-15 minutes; we’ve used up 30 minutes of their lunch break. You have to add in another 5-10 minutes to walk back to work, and if you’re a typical Bermudian like me who knows half the Island it could be longer because you just have to say hello. You’ve used up 40 minutes, leaving 20 for shopping.The point I’m making is that it is not ideal for people to shop during their lunch break, unless they are just picking up something quickly that they’ve already researched and don’t need to spend time thinking about their purchase.Ever go to a shopping mall in the US of A, or anywhere for that matter? They usually close at 9pm. Do you ever wonder why? Because people can’t really shop whilst they’re working and they are more inclined to shop and spend after work; not just on Saturdays but evenings as well.Yes, Bermuda is in a recession, but by the number of people I see travelling, shopping, eating out and living the Bermuda Dream I conclude that the only people affected by the recession are those who are not working who want to work and need to work. The rest of the populous is still living the Bermuda Dream. So there is disposable income here.Even though we are mired in the fifth consecutive year of negative growth, people who are working and living here still have to buy things to live, so there will always be a place and a need for retailers.But we need people, staff who are willing to work the unsociable hours. You either want a job and want to work or you don’t.Someone will raise the argument about families with children being left to fend for themselves at home. I know that some churches or spiritual leaders will voice their objections to Sunday operating hours. Note that some of those same spiritual leaders, when on a trip, will be at a mall until closing hours, maybe even on a Sunday or on their Sabbath.Customers want things immediately and if you cannot give it to them now; they will go somewhere else to get it; even if it means ordering online and shipping it to Bermuda.The point here is that in order to remain competitive, retailers must innovate, modernise, change paradigms, etc. One of those paradigm shifts is extending opening hours until 7pm or so during weekdays and staying open until 7 or 9pm on weekends, including Sundays. Fail to do this and we are living in the dark ages, not creating the conditions for retailers to flourish and definitely not being customer driven.Our tourism business needs this as well. Options are somewhat limited in Bermuda and we need to give our tourists more things to do, more flexible times to get to the shops. I was chatting with a business visitor last week who was frustrated that at the end of his successful business trip he couldn’t really buy gifts for his family because his meetings began at 8am, finished at 8pm and by the time he got out of meetings the stores were all closed and even at that lovely hotel the Fairmont Hamilton Princess; the retail shops were closed. I told him to try the shops at the LFW Bermuda International Airport in the morning. Again, we didn’t give him many options.Hopefully the Government will support the push by the Chamber and retailers to extend operating hours. Hopefully the wider community, including and most importantly the staff, will simply accept that this is the new reality of the retail business and support extending the hours of operation.And now, The Top 20:Making the jump to #1 is Suit and Tie, by Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z.Tumbling to #2 is Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz.Up to #3 is Started from the Bottom by Drake, arguably the hottest rapper in the game.Falling to #4 is Harlem Shake by Bauer.Falling to #5 is F*ckn Problems by A$ap Rocky.Slipping to #6 is Scream and Shout by will.i.am and Britney Spears.Sliding to #7 is Right Now by Rihanna and David Guetta.On the way up at #8 is Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch.Up one spot to #9 is a former essential selection, As Your Friend by Chris Brown featuring Afrojack.Improving to #10 is last week’s essential new tune, Beam Me Up (Kill Mode) By Cazzette.Down to #11 is Bring it to me Kes and the Band.Tumbling to #12 is She Ready by Machel MontanoUp to #13 is Sexy People (The Fiat Song) by Arianna featuring Pitbull.Improving to #14 is another ballad, When I Was Your Man, by Bruno Mars.Falling to #15 is Don’t You Worry Child, by the Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin.Improving to #16 is Feel This Moment by Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera.Stay by Rihanna falls to #17.Improving to #18 is Gentleman by Psy, last week’s essential new tune.Up to #19 is Hold Me by Ono featuring Dave Aude, a monster dance track.New at #20 is this week’s essential new tune, Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton.