Whilst flicking through my Facebook feed this morning, this little gem popped up. It’s an advertisement for a real estate company in the US with a picture of a mother and her children with mess and chaos around her on one side. On the other side are two men in business suits casually smiling. The slogan reads “Part Time Agent VS Full Time Professionals”.
I can sometimes overreact (ok, perhaps often), and shouted a tirade at my computer whilst reading about this ad, which of course is not the creator of such foul, chauvinistic and narcissistic thinking – it is the idiots who drafted this flier and actually thought it was smart.
I considered drawing up my own meme, possibly with the Agents at a long lunch, at the strippers, a marquee at the races or cruising around in their car but realized it would only feed the demon. To pigeonhole anyone is not going to make the world a better place. The Agents, or Marketing Company or whoever the bright spark was that came up with that ad were trying to suggest that Time = Quality and this is very far from the truth.
Not surprisingly, the Agents of this advertisement have received considerable backlash on social media and have since shut down their Facebook page.
This advertisement isn’t just disrespectful to every working mum out there, but to anyone who works outside of the 9 – 5 norm. We need to free ourselves from this ridiculous ‘clock on-clock off mentality’ and a culture where turning up to the office means 80% of your work is done. A study conducted by John Pencavel at Stanford University last year found that increased hours led to decreased productivity, especially beyond a 50-hour work week. We should focus on productivity whilst at work, rather than how many hours get clocked up.
Let’s hope that we see fewer of these ridiculous stereotypes and more acceptance and implementation of flexible working conditions.