From the Great Resignation to hybrid working and nationwide labour and skill shortages, the world of work is seeing a lot of changes. It just isn’t the same old nine-to-five anymore.
The how, why and where of work has changed more since the pandemic than at almost any time in my entire working life.

Turn the clocks back a couple of years and the hot topic concerning the work place was that elusive work-life balance. Labour and leisure were seen as separate; one was a necessary evil in order that you may enjoy the other. It was the inheritance of the forties way of working – fifty weeks in the factory followed by a fortnight in Brighton.

Even before the pandemic, people were muttering about job satisfaction; about choosing a career where they felt they made a real difference. A year after Covid hit, surveys showed that a third of workers in the UK were planning on quitting their jobs, either for something new or a new life outside work and the term ‘Great Resignation’ was coined.

Out of a staff of 32, 1 person left Golden Coast for something new. It seems that working here isn’t too bad.

Clocking on.

I like to make an early start.

I’ve been out of the saddle recently due to a mixed bag of foul weather and an unpleasant brush with Covid but generally I like to cycle to work and that gets me in good and early. (I won’t say quite when but I like to kick off the day with a fresh coffee and Yesterday’s Quiz with Greg James.)

While BBC Sounds mutters away, I like to make sure my office door is open; a little thing, but an important one.

Support your home team.

GC staff are generally discouraged in communicating internally by email. If you have a question for Sophie, walk around to Sophie’s desk and ask her. That’s how you build a team and #Team GC is something we are all inordinately proud of.

Having said that, the pandemic pushed us to find new ways of keeping in touch with our customers. We now have two sets of offices equipped for Zoom and Team meetings and I confess that I’ve been pleased at just how efficient and effective those meetings are. The amount of motorway miles that we have saved and the amount of doughnuts we haven’t eaten doesn’t bear thinking about but to my mind, nothing can ever replace a good old analogue face to face get together.

Shared goals. Shared rewards.

I doubt my working day is much different to many other managers in the industry but as with any business of a certain size there is an ongoing necessity to get together with people to discuss a multitude of issues from the performance of our business and finances to suppliers and Human Resources.

Wherever someone works in the business we always make it clear that his or her input and ideas are valued. That we know they make a difference, one that leads to business growth and they are rewarded for that.

Fostering that team spirit is probably one of the most important things myself and other mangers do.

Skills and experience.

There are more job vacancies than unemployed in the UK for the first time since records began. This affects the entire economy but bites more in some areas than others.

There is a skills shortage crisis in building and construction and for the last two years the Wet Leisure Industry Survey has noted that difficulty in finding skilled staff is one of the biggest challenges businesses face.

Did a lack of skilled people act as a break on the growth in pool construction that staycations rather then vacations brought about? It would certainly have made doing that work harder.


In the past, most managers worked their way up from the shop floor. The trend nowadays seems to be that they get a qualification in management and then find an industry to work in. I don’t know how true that is in our industry but I do know that by the time I came to be MD at Golden Coast, there weren’t many jobs in the business that I hadn’t tried my hand at.

That breadth of experience helps me relate to every member of our team. Whether its chatting with the drivers and getting feedback on everything from their favourite customer or tea and cake stop to their opinion on how well business is going or just observing the various elements of the business in action, I do like to maintain a finger on the pulse of Golden Coast.

Job satisfaction.

I am lucky to work in an industry that I enjoy being a part of. I think what we provide for our customers – health, wellbeing and fun in the shape of pools, spas and saunas – benefits those people in lots of ways.

We play our part in making the industry reduce its carbon footprint and we run a business that is enjoyable and satisfying to work in.

So yes, in the midst of these changing times, I still enjoy job satisfaction, and I very much hope you do to.