‘Retired’ means having options
At one time, retirement used to mean stopping work, end of. For some people it still does. But for many others it is all about being free of the 37.5 hours a week, 37 weeks a year routine of having to work. Having options can be a wonderful thing and for many older – and in some cases, younger – people it is wonderful to be able to choose how they spend their time. So why would anyone choose to work?
Well, everyone is different. Each person has their own motivations, feelings, circumstances, likes and dislikes. Retirement, like all other aspects of life, isn’t a one size fits all thing. Some people, having said goodbye to their fulltime job or career, find that their perspectives change:
- They miss the social interaction that they used to get at work.
- They find that their days and weeks are long and breaking them up with some work would be nice.
- The cost of living crisis and a period of high inflation have shifted their view on how far their pension will go.
- Shrinking pension pots have meant that spending some of their time working instead of spending might be a good idea!
- They have simply found that they miss work!
Of course, some people, after a period of retirement, decide to go back into fulltime work, embarking on a second (or third or fourth) career. But many others don’t want to do this. They would like to do some work but don’t want to lose that long sought after freedom and flexibility. In an ideal world, they would love to be able to combine some work with the other things they are enjoying, such as:
- New (or old) hobbies
- Family responsibilities and pleasures (such as time with grandchildren or aging parents)
- Keeping fit
- Catching up with friends and family
- Charity and community work
- …and many more!
So, for many people, what is stopping them from going back to some sort of work is that they don’t want to give up their freedom. These people could comfortably fit in – and enjoy – working a day or two each week. But not if it would mean losing the flexibility and freedom that their life currently gives them.
Why ‘normal’ parttime work isn’t the answer
Some retirees look at parttime work as the potential answer. But for many people that is far from ideal. They would still be committed to the old 37 weeks per year pattern that they have left behind. Taking long (and multiple) trips and holidays would become impossible, as would the ability to respond flexibly to changing family circumstances.
A new way of working and thinking about work
So, what does an ‘ideal’ solution look like? Perhaps it is something like this:
- You decide how many hours or days per week would suit you.
- You decide the days and times – the shifts – that would work best for you.
- You agree to work the shifts that suit you, BUT on the understanding that you will be able to flex those shifts – taking time off when you need to.
- You are definitely NOT stopped from taking those longer trips and holidays that you have waited so long for!
- You find a job a comfortable distance from home – no long commutes.
Having your cake and eating it!
Is all of this really possible? The short answer is Yes! Of course if you are going to work in a local independent business that recognises the value you put on freedom and flexibility, they are going to expect you to work with them to make the arrangement work – flexibility is a two way street. But with common sense, flexibility and goodwill on both sides – together with a platform that puts people and businesses together (that’s Flexi-Shift comes in) – anything is possible!