Open All Hours: The Challenges Of Running A Business 24/7




Bosses know that the average working week for the person in charge tends to last up to 49 hours. For 33% of SME owners, this figure jumps to 59. The individuals in charge are and continue to be the hardest workers. However, businesses are expecting more from their employees in an average working week. Quite simply, more businesses are opening 24-hours a week to satiate demand and increasing profits. However, life in the fast lane is not as easy as extending office hours.


Here are the challenges you can expect to come across if you make the switch.


Employee Disgruntlement

Let’s face it; no one wants to work all the hours that God sends. Of course, they won’t be because their hours will stay the same, but their shift patterns will change. Still, this is not good news for employees as the prospect of working nights isn’t pleasant. Going to bed in the afternoon and working through the dead of night is a hassle, and it affects their balance between work and life. The key is to compensate them for their time if they do work nights, and to randomise the rota. If the staff only has to do it once a month, the prospect is less daunting.


Increased Costs

Probably the worst negative is the inevitable increase in expenses. Think of it from a realistic point of view. Firstly, you are going to need to hire more employees to cover the extra shifts. As you know, workers are not cheap, and labor is one of the highest expenses for any company. Plus, there needs to be additional management on the same shift patterns to oversee the work. Otherwise, the employees will be alone and unproductive. Then, there are the overheads which are bound to double in cost. Quite simply, you have to be sure that you can cover the obvious and not-so-obvious fees.






People need managing regardless of the time. Just because it is the middle of the night doesn’t mean they can slack off until the morning. Otherwise, the output levels will drop fall and the business will suffer. Of course, putting managers in place that you trust is a good place to start. But, there are other areas which can help lower the issue of slacking off. Tracking technology is one method, as is a CCTV system with IT support. Also, there are digital clock-in machines which record when every employee begins their shift.


Customer Service

If you are open 24-hours a week, people will call 24/7. And, you shouldn’t expect anything less if they are the working hours you broadcast. The only problem is responding to the queries. Recruiting a secretary or a team of customer service reps to work nights doesn’t seem like a good idea. First of all, it’s costly, and, secondly, there won’t be enough traffic to warrant their paycheck. Still, you have to respond, so what are your options? Virtual software is best as a chatbot and an automated phone service allow you to answer customer questions.


If you want to open a 24-hour business, be ready to deal with problems 24-hours a day.


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