5 Hospitality Jobs with Flexible Schedules
Have you ever wished you could work a more flexible schedule? And have you ever been afraid that if you asked for more flexibility at work, your employer wouldn’t like it? If so, you aren’t alone. A recent study found that out of 2,700 employed people who were surveyed, almost 40 percent said they thought asking for time off work for personal reasons would hinder their progress on the job. It also found that flexibility was a concern for both men and women, challenging the stereotype that only mothers of young kids struggle with work-life balance.
While increasing workplace flexibility remains an issue for the economy as a whole, there are already some jobs that are a bit friendlier toward spending time outside work. These positions offer flexible scheduling, opportunities to work remotely, or both. Someone who wants a flexible job in the hospitality industry might choose one of the following roles.
Customer service agent
Customer service agents respond to guests’ requests, comments, and complaints over the phone, through email, or through online chat. Some employers allow customer service agents to work remotely as long as they have a dedicated phone line and internet access. After all, guests who email a hotel brand don’t know where the customer service agent is located and likely don’t care as long as the issue is resolved to their satisfaction.
Although some reservation agents work in hotels and take reservations in person, others help with reservations over the phone or online and may have some flexibility about where they work. Some hotels regularly employ reservation agents who work entirely remotely. Others may be willing to grant some flexibility if you have valued skills, such as fluency in an in-demand language.
Hotels need housekeeping services throughout the day and night because guests check in and check out at all hours. There’s an ongoing need for attendants to clean rooms, handle laundry, make beds, and restock bathrooms. Thus, there are usually multiple housekeeping shifts on any given day, and some employers provide flexibility because of that. Offering flexible hours for housekeepers makes good business sense given that there’s high turnover in housekeeping positions, and flexibility can keep employees happy and boost retention rates. If your employer allows you to choose from housekeeping shifts in advance, you might be able to sign up for a shift later in the day if you want to make it to a school play or a doctor’s appointment in the morning.
A revenue manager analyzes business performance, monitors and predicts market trends, and develops plans for increasing revenue. This can be a flexible position because what matters is your business acumen, not the location of your desk. Some employers will allow you to work remotely 100 percent of the time, communicating with colleagues online and through teleconferencing. Or, you may be able to work from home some days and to go into the office on other days for meetings. And even if you don’t generally work from home, you may have flexibility in your schedule because as long as you get the day’s work done, it often won’t make a difference whether you crunch the numbers at 8:00 a.m., 10 p.m., or another time in between.
A sales manager reaches out to prospects and brings in business from companies and organizations. Since the focus of this job is on staying in contact with customers, working from 9:00 to 5:00 at the same location every day is usually not a requirement. Although travel and meetings with customers are non-negotiable parts of this job, there is some inherent flexibility in terms of time spent at your employer’s office. You may be able to work remotely, attending scheduled meetings with customers and working at home the rest of the time. Alternatively, you may be able to arrange flexible scheduling as long as it’s convenient for customers. For example, if you have presentations scheduled for the afternoon and a dinner meeting with a trade group in the evening, you might be able to take the morning off and then to catch up with work after dinner.