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Work-life balance

Three quarters of all who took part in the survey have between 25 and 29 days' holiday, while a fifth are less fortunate having only 20 to 24 days holiday

Three quarters of all who took part in the survey have between 25 and 29 days' holiday, while a fifth are less fortunate having only 20 to 24 days holiday. There is barely any difference across gender, however, the majority of the very lucky 6 per cent who are able to boast over 30 days' holiday are men and directors, and are most likely to work in the commercial division.

People are working harder than ever and are not taking the leave to which they are entitled; this is particularly noticeable for those working in business units and commercial. It is something that seems to be creeping into the working culture; with people working longer hours and taking less annual leave you have to ask yourselves, who is winning?

The majority of survey respondents work full-time (94 per cent) with just 5 per cent working part-time. Unsurprisingly, more women than men work part-time; one in 10 women work part-time compared to just one in every 100 men. Three of those who work part-time said they earned £80,000 per annum.

Part-time working is more prevalent in PR and communications departments where one in every 10 employees works part-time. Based on this survey, there are no part-time workers in product/brand teams, business units, sales or finance.

Time for work
Pharma folk work long hours, over two hours longer a day than the standard 37.5-hour week, which means that you are working an extra 10 hours a week for no payment. To look at it another way, you work 69 days extra each year for very little more - or absolutely nothing if you don't get a bonus.

If you are the head of sales, on average you work longer than other pharma employees, putting in 11 hours a day. Overall, men work longer hours (9.67 hours per day) than women (9.34 hours per day), which means, essentially, that they work a longer week (48.3 hours vs 46.7 hours).

It seems that men like to start their day earlier than women with over a third (36 per cent) beginning a normal day before 8am in the morning. Women usually begin their day around an hour later at 9am.

Some 20 per cent of directors have a slightly more leisurely start to the day, beginning work around 10am, though they do tend to stay on later until after 7pm. In general, almost half (45 per cent) of you finish work before 6pm most days.

There is also a growing trend to carry on working at home. Some 80 per cent of you admitted to taking work home with a quarter of respondents always or often taking work home in the evenings and more than half (57 per cent) doing so on occasion.

Furthermore, nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of you take work home at the weekends, while one in five admits to sometimes working in the office at the weekend! The group most likely to do this is the directors (39 per cent).

Where did you hear that?
The pharmaceutical industry is no different to any others in that people use the internet to keep up-to-date and obtain information relating to European issues. Over two-thirds of respondents, in particular men (73 per cent), click online for information and many employees depend on the trade press to keep on top of the latest issues and developments around the world.

While there is little to differentiate between usage of the top two information channels, the trade press plays a more important role for employees working in pharma's marketing, medical, PR and comms divisions.

If you work in product and brand teams, you are significantly more likely to look for information on European issues using in-house resources compared with colleagues in PR and communications and business intelligence or market research.

The general high level of response across the options in the survey suggests that employees like to have access to a number of different information sources to help understand issues that may affect them and that are relevant to their work.

The future
More than half of you with BA and BSc degrees know where you want to be in five years' time, particularly if you are under 45.

MBA graduates unsurprisingly are more likely to have a 10-year plan in place. Two-thirds of you who are over 50 years old do not have a specific career plan; it could be that you are hoping to retire shortly, or because you have reached the position to which you wished to aspire.

If you work in medical, you are less likely to have any definite career plan compared with those working in other divisions. Many of you including those with PhDs (55 per cent) do not have a definitive career plan 'set in stone'.

Half of all of you expect to be in the pharmaceutical industry for the remainder of your career, 37 per cent are unsure about staying in healthcare, while 13 per cent are making definite plans to leave. These figures are very similar to those reported in previous years.

Those over 40 are significantly more likely to stay; this increases with age. As you might expect, those earning more than £40k are significantly more likely to stay in the industry, the likelihood increasing in line with their salary!

One in five of you aged between 30 and 34 years old are not going to be in pharma for ever, and the same is true of those earning under £30k per annum. If you are an executive or junior manager you are more likely to consider leaving than those in more senior managerial roles.

Despite the difficulties faced over the last year, with many working extra hours, mergers, redundancies etc, the vast majority of you (91 per cent) are either 'very' (particularly women) or 'quite' optimistic about the future of the pharmaceutical industry.

2nd September 2008

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