A ‘pay as you go’ driving instructor might have approximately six driving lessons planned each day. They might start at 9.30 am and finish at 8 pm. In between the lessons, the instructor has some ‘dead’ time where they may or may not fit in the things they love to do like play golf, travel, shop, read or visit the gym. As the day goes on, some customers will cancel, other customers will say they don’t want a lesson the week after due to commitments but ask to be fitted in at the weekend instead. And this is how it goes. Instructors are constantly getting text messages where the timing of lessons changes to another day, or changes to be later/earlier, or longer/shorter. All of these interruptions take their toll on mental health. The distraction this causes is immense. This is not utilising technology for increased efficiency.
It is a highly haphazard, chaotic and unpredictable way to fill a work schedule. It is also, unfortunately for many, rather unhealthy too.
This leads to resentment because the instructor does not feel in control. It can create bitterness due to the inefficiency of wasted time. It is also stressful because the instructor never quite knows what they are doing from one day to the next.
In the BIG TOM franchise, we place far more importance on the emotional wellbeing of our franchisees. The franchisee tells us when they want to work in a given week, and then we fill the diary on that basis. For example, a franchisee might say that they only want to work mornings or afternoons on weekdays, and they could stipulate that they want their days free but are happy to work from 3 pm onwards. With BIG TOM, we tell our customers the choices they have with the timing, and once the schedule is agreed (in line with the franchisees’ preferences), that schedule is then set contractually. It makes for a far more efficient working practice.
The Social Market Foundation recently took a survey from thousands of delivery drivers and regular workers, and it was this point about choosing the hours that most appealed to them. 80% of the responders had left regular jobs for a working environment that they felt more in control of.
BIG TOM has been operating on this basis for several years, very successfully, and customers love the two-way commitment to the working schedule. People who are time-sensitive appreciate this way of working – they cannot cope with the high level of cancellations that occurs with traditional driving lessons. Say goodbye to constantly arriving at pupils’ houses where the pupil does not show.
The way we all work is changing. It was changing before the pandemic, but it has gathered momentum since. Flexibility and efficiency are key. The BIG TOM franchise makes all the bookings with no fuss to our instructors. We do test bookings, course bookings, send off resources, and even capture customer surveys.
It’s probably time you changed the way you work and started being kinder to your emotional wellbeing.