By mid-afternoon on a Friday many 9-5 workers have one eye on the clock as they count down to the weekend – but what about when your job involves working on someone else’s home?
A survey undertaken by Protecting.co.uk, a health & safety and employment law expert, has shown that a staggering 76% of trades people admit to doing at least one ‘Friday job’ which they are ‘ashamed of’ – from slap dash plastering to lackadaisical joinery, it seems that the British public are suffering when it comes to pre-weekend work.
The study, which surveyed 500 workers across various trades, showed that a majority of trades people – like workers in many other professions – lose concentration as the end of the week edges closer. However, many of them were seemingly very relaxed about this dip in productivity, despite the potentially expensive consequences for their customers.
The survey conducted by protecting.co.uk produced the following results
76% Yes I have cut corners in order to finish early / on time on a Friday.
9% No comment.
15% No never.
One worker, who asked not to be named, confessed: “It was Friday afternoon – I knew that light switch was upside down, and shame on me, but it was time to go to the pub.”
Another, who confessed to rushing interior decorating jobs in the run-up to the weekend, said: “It’s almost traditional now – Friday afternoon jobs get done quickly so you can have an early finish for the weekend. Everybody does it!”
And there was countless more admissions;
JR a web designer from Leeds “I should of spent more time making that website perfect so google could find it, but it still works”
Sam decorator from London “I didn’t use masking tape and lets just say I hope that customer is blind as those lines are not straight”
Karen, office worker “I may of lost a number of invoices, funny how that happens every Friday”
But error-prone workers with their mind already on their weekend plans could be leaving customers – and their business – open to difficulties, say Protecting.co.uk.
Chris Hall, spokes person for Protecting.co.uk, said:
“Not only do these ‘Friday jobs’ tend to result in problems which can cost consumers dearly further down the line, they also open up a can of worms when it comes to health and safety. If the correct precautions aren’t taken due to workers being preoccupied, trade businesses could be liable for much more than just complaints and money spent fixing botched jobs.
“Failing to follow correct protocol such as protective clothing regulations or correctly storing hazardous substances on-site because workers are eager to get the job finished could have very grave consequences. It is up to businesses to ensure their employees are correctly trained and aware of the requirements for their role – and, of course, to protect themselves against complaints or expensive remedial work for customers.”
There are steps businesses can take to reduce dangerous errors as a result of ‘Friday jobs’, Hall noted. Properly assessing health and safety requirements for each job and then training employees accordingly will increase overall caution taken, but he added that it was also key to tackle the causes of the drop in productivity.
“Firms could introduce ‘early finish Fridays’ to reduce the temptation to speed through jobs – a Health & Safety Executive report on safe working indicates that rushing is one of the key precursors to slips and falls, which can be both costly and dangerous for employees.
“Ensuring that your business ethos has a strong focus on the potential risks of slapdash work and failing to follow proper protocol can also make a huge difference; if workers are aware of the possible dangers, they may be less likely to cut corners.
“Of course, nobody wants unhappy customers, and this should be a strong incentive for businesses to clamp down on ‘Friday jobs’ – but there are also much more serious factors at play which businesses should be aware of.