Job satisfaction tempered by long hours, Mumbrella survey reveals

The vast majority of the media and marketing community believes the industry expects excessive hours of work; however, this translates to 10.03% of employees being ‘mostly unhappy’ with their work life, according to a readership survey of the Mumbrella audience.

Mumbrella research panel
Mumbrella readers are largely ‘mostly happy’ with both their life in general and their work life while just 1% and 0.44% are ‘extremely unhappy’ with their work life and their life in general, respectively.

The survey, conducted in December 2015, polled more than 1000 Mumbrella readers through Survey Monkey about a range of industry issues as well as their views on their professional lives.

Just over one third of respondents suggested there is a problem with work-life-balance within the industry, with 34.62% ‘somewhat agreeing’ with the statement ‘the marketing industry expects too many hours of work outside standard office hours’ while 22.08% ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement.

Speaking on a panel at Mumbrella 360, general manager Hearst at Bauer Media, Marina Go, said there was nothing new in long hours, although technology had created an “always on” environment that people needed to manage.

“I think people do love their jobs,” Go said.

“I think it’s because we are always on, 24-hours a day, social media emails, and I don’t feel like I work longer hours now than I worked 30 years ago when I first entered the industry.

“It’s because they love their career and they love their industry. I don’t know that we make them feel like they have to work all the time.”

Leigh Terry, CEO of Omnicom Media Group, questioned whether it was simply a myth that had been perpetuated and that in a service industry ‘always on’ had been the norm longer before digital had come along.

“From my perspective agency life since I got into it is not a nine-to-five job,” Terry said.

He said there did need to be a balance and business needed to consider the happiness of its workforce.

“Happy people do happy work.”

Balancing work and family is the biggest concern amongst the audience, with health and wellbeing the second and keeping clients coming in at third place. Global politics ranked above job security while staying up to date with media technology, development, and the economy taking the final three concerns.

More than three-quarters of the respondents agree that the industry offers an interesting career (78%) with just around 12% saying they are “mainly in marketing because the money’s good”.

For Mumbrella readers, success is based around balancing work life with family, health and career growth.

AANA CEO Sunita Gloster said many managers were guilty of keeping the work conversation going out of hours.

“Perhaps we should all consider the French System where you have a right to disconnect,” Gloster said.

Damian Eales, MD of metros and regional and CMO of News Corp Australia, said he did not think the the marketing and communications industry was unique.

“I have worked in three different industries and I think that over my working life I’m working as hard as I was working when I was on the floor of the department store at Myer all those years ago … and I’d put money on it that it wouldn’t be very different to a lot of other industries,” Eales said.


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