In the words of the great Dolly Parton. However, in your job are you able to switch off when you leave the office or when you shut the computer down? I appreciate that in the hotel industry and similar, which I grew up in, then the hours are erratic and you’re on call to the residents during unsociable hours perhaps. I believe for most SME’s these days that they need to be thinking like an hotel – whenever the customer wants to contact you, make sure you’re available. Maybe it’s because of my upbringing that I feel this way – I’m sure you’ll let me know if I’m wrong. Running an online directory I’ve found that not all other businesses listed with us work 9 to 5 so therefore we need to be available when they want to contact us. For example a plumber may do his actual plumbing work 9 to 5 but then he’ll get home and need to attend to the other side of his business – maybe accounts, advertising and admin. That’s when he’ll probably be contacting us so we should be available to him. We answered a call last Saturday from a Roofer who said “I want to be on the internet like Joe Bloggs down the road” and we were able to help. If you don’t answer the phone or email they may move on to one of your competitors who is available. Previously businesses would only provide perhaps an office telephone number as a contact however with more and more people working from their mobile, with the ability to get online too, their mobile numbers and emails are made available as well. So does that mean they are saying they are available 24/7 if their mobile is on? Obviously you have to draw a line for sleep at some point I know. I have done the 9 to 5 as an accountant in London for a very successful company, being paid the 9 to 5 salary. The majority of the days I could leave at the end of the day and forget about work, but sometimes I knew that something had to be finished, only I could do it and it would hang over me if I didn’t. So I’d either be in at 7am or work until late to get it done. Maybe that is my mentality for work etiquette and it’s carried on into my “self employed running a business status”. But I believe if something has to be done then get it done asap and don’t lag behind or let it build up. So are we working too many hours? But do we need to to keep our businesses afloat in the times we are in? My attitude is that if I’m available then I will deal with any queries – evenings and weekends. It keeps the customer happy and that’s paramount. Then again I work from home on my laptop and am regularly reminded by friends that I don’t have a life. But hey, if it helps the customer and Whatswhat.ie then I don’t see the problem. If you are really pushing for your business to be the best isn’t that what you have to do these days? Are you a nine to fiver or a survivor? VOTE for this post HERE and win great prizes! This post is part of the SugarTone: Sweet Business Blogging Contest.