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I Found Work Life Balance in Property: A Case Study

By: Emma Eilbeck BA (hons) - Updated: 8 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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Property professionals live by the mantra 'work hard, play hard', so it can sometimes be hard to find a happy work life balance. Those that work in the property field often find themselves bringing their work home and although many of them love what they do it is not uncommon to hear a few grumbles now and again about how they never have time to do things outside of work.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Tim had been working as a surveyor for seven years, he was used to the travelling, the early mornings and even popping into the office on Saturdays. He was however starting to think about starting a family with his wife and was worried that he would not be at home enough to see his child grow up.

“I worked as a quantity surveyor which meant a lot of travelling from different locations to assess sights. I could often be away from home on location for up to a week at one time, which is not ideal if you have young children,” explains Tim.

“When I first started out as a surveyor working in a city meant there was a large social element to the job. I would be leaving my house around 7am and sometimes not getting in until midnight. Even though most of my evening was spent wining and dining and meeting clients I still felt I was at work and not escaping the workplace atmosphere.

“As I settled in more and made a name for myself I was able to do less socialising and I had learned to work a room better, so I could get in and out of a function within a couple of hours and still see all the contacts I needed to, “ explains Tim.

Cutting Down on Travel

One of the easiest ways to make sure you have more time doing the things you enjoy and less time stuck at work is by relocating. The closer you are to your job the quicker you will be able to travel to and from it.

“I enjoyed my job and found it very rewarding, but it was around a one hour commute travelling to Leeds every day. The job was well paid and secure but I knew if I wanted to relieve some of the pressure associated with my chosen field of work I would need to move to a smaller project and something a bit more local,” says Tim.

He was in a fortunate position as he already had good experience of the sector behind him and was able to use his contacts to ask around about potential job offers.

“I heard about a local firm that was looking for surveyors, the money was not as much as I was on, but I calculated that with a few cutbacks it would be doable.

“I got a good vibe from the company and it seemed to have a different vibe compared to working in the city. Everyone still put in the work but they also made sure they were home at a reasonable time. A lot of the people that worked there had families themselves so were less willing to sacrifice their spare time in return for less money,” says Tim.

The End Result

The property sector can be demanding and when you start out, your time is often your company’s time, but once you find your feet there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a balanced work and home life.

“My new job was only a twenty minute drive away and I normally started work at 9am, which meant leaving about 8.30am and most nights I was in by 6pm. I also learned to take work home with me, so all the physical aspects of my job such as the onsite viewing's and valuations I tried to cram into the day and if needed I would take the paperwork home with me,” explains Tim.

Some people find that they are workaholics by nature, but most of us need to enjoy a healthy work life balance in order to stay sane. You will find that working in property you will have to manage your time and workload quite stringently, so as long as you make sure you organise your own life in a similar manner you should not go wrong.

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