Feeling office fatigue? If you’re worried your wasting away working a 9-5, we’ve rounded up a couple of potential solutions, from reconfiguring your current job to something completely new. It can never hurt to consider your options.
Before you broach the idea of jumping ship, have you properly considered what it is, specifically, that’s wrong? Too often, it’s easy to assume your job has to look the way it does now, but even the most ardent-appearing laws might just be de-facto rules, ready to break.
One such rule is our forced 9-5 rhythm. The reality is, a lot of bodies and brains don’t operate on that timeline. Most of us fall into one or two categories according to our natural circadian rhythms: biologically, we’re either early-risers or night-owls. If you can find out which one you are, perhaps you can curtail your work hours to it with your boss, explaining you’re a hell of a lot more productive then than slumped over your desk at 4pm.
Alternatively, are you feeling an itch just because you find an office environment stifling? Flexi-hours and remote working could be your answer. Granted, it’s a hard conversation to have with your superiors, but if you truly believe you’d be more productive and happier working from home, it’s worth a shot.
This could be you!
It’s definitely worth mentioning that you should give it a good think before you dive in though, since working from home isn’t always as nice as it sounds. Without face-to-face contact, it’s easy to feel alienated from your colleagues. Even if that sounds more like a plus than a minus to you, just be aware you’re potentially signing yourself up to a 9-5 where you don’t leave the house. Without human contact, the hours might blur together and you’ll find yourself working late-at-night and at all moments of the day.
Obviously the best solution is to move to Sweden, where six-hour work days are the norm. The UK also has a pretty solid way to fight 9-5 fatigue: after 26 weeks (6.5 months) of continual employment, workers can legally request agile working solutions like job sharing, part-time hours or shift work.
Depending on your industry, going freelance is one easy way to reclaim your independence and right to sleep in some days. No doubt you’ve considered it before, but it’s worth going through the pros and cons once again.
Consulting, contract and for-hire work can be a blessing, but it’s also a lot of pressure. You’ll need to be well-established or prepared to work super hard on connections if you’re keen to make a decent wage out of it.
Speaking of which, you will constantly be aware of how much money you’re making and what work needs to be done to pay the bills – usually, this means you’ll work round-the-clock when you’re struggling.
Instability and the lack of employee benefits mean that freelancing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be a lot of the time, though it is definitely possible to make it work. Just don’t expect café meetings and working from your backyard all time – you’ll need to be your own boss, which is a whole other level of discipline.
On the other hand, over time you’ll hopefully build up enough klout to pick-and-choose which projects you want to work on. If you approach it from the long-game, and accept that it’s going to be a lot of hard work to get things going (in many ways, you’re essentially starting your own business), then go for it.
If you’ve ever had a PT, you’ll know the field is filled with people who left illustrious, high-paying careers for the sweat and tears of gym work. It’s an attractive industry for a lot of people who are looking to live outside of a 9-5, like working with people and, of course, enjoy exercise.
Personal training jobs come in many forms, but generally the hours are pretty open: since most people work out before and after work, it’s easy to have most of the day off.
It’s not as easy as pointing to your rig as your CV though. To be a trainer, you’ll have to study either a Cert II or IV in Fitness to get a foot in the door, which is a commitment. So is keeping up to date with the latest trends and science behind fitness, or focusing on a niche to run classes and make a name for yourself. It’s a lot of work, but if you like the idea of coaching people and making a difference in their lives, this could be the fulfilling thing you’re searching for.
If you’re keen to get out of an office environment, a hands-on trade gives you a different challenge to tackle every day. You’d also spend more time outdoors, work early (or, if you’re on-call, odd) hours, and keep active. You’re also paid a fair amount: last year, the average tradie earned $61.91 an hour, which has completely shaken this journalist to the core.
Hear us out. We’re not just talking about hospitality here, though that’s definitely one path out of the 9-5 grind. A lot of jobs and industries work on shift-work, which offers its own kind of release. Nurses, doctors, firefighters, police, airplane attendants, pilots, hotel worker, counsellor, mail sorters, bakers: all these jobs and more work on shifts. Of course, almost all of them require a few years of study.
You know the big apps. We’re all read articles about people making trillions amount through Airtasker and paying off their HECS debt via Uber, but there’s a few other options to make money with.
We’re personally big fans of dog minding and walking apps like Paw Shake, Mad Paws and Pet Cloud are basically ‘Airbnb, but for dogs’. Essentially, you’re paid to take them for walkies or have them stay for a little while while their owners are away.
Always that mate who helps out when its moving season? Turn your absurd generosity into a money maker with MeeMeep, an app which outsources moving furniture or other awkward items between places. You quote your own fare, pick up jobs when you want and can score more routine work with businesses, if you’re keen to move beyond the odd ‘move my couch’ job.
Image credit: Sex & The City