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Maintaining a solid work-life balance as a mystery shopper

The life of a mystery shopper varies considerably from the standard nine-to-five workday that essentially defined how weekdays for employed adults were spent. However, the economy and workforce has evolved as the 20th century rolled into the 2000s. There are far more freelancers and contractual employees making up payrolls across the U.S.

At the same time, there are a significant number of part-time and temporary workers, which creates opportunities for a more diverse work life. However, one issue that persists in spite of the shifting workforce is the concept of a work-life balance. In other words, people still have difficulty of dividing their time between the duties in whatever place they call their office and being able to relax at home or out on the town.

The stress of balancing family and work
In an article for Forbes, writer Stacy DeBroff outlined the trouble that many people can have when trying to work and raise children. She eventually worked out a job-sharing schedule with a co-worker  - essentially sharing responsibilities for the same position - and found success with this over a five-year period, but even this had to change. The lesson learned in DeBroff's journey to find a balance between parenting and working is that there's rarely, if ever a solution that will last forever. The demands of a job may change and the responsibilities of being a mother or father will certainly change as children grow older. At the same time, it's important to remember that there's no single solution that fit the needs of all employees.

Keep priorities in line
An article for Mystery Shopper Magazine emphasized that being a secret shopper should not take over anyone's life completely. Depending on how much a mystery shopper relies on this role for his or her income, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the occupation. A single assignment can take up a significant amount of a person's day if they have to commute a long distance to assess a store. It's important to keep in mind that shoppers must absorb transportation costs and other expenses like eating out at a restaurant. These can build up, making the overall worth of a $50 assignment deteriorate quickly.

Meanwhile, it may take less than a half an hour to secret shop at a given location, but there's a substantial amount of writing that the person must do to complete. After three hours in the car going to and from a retail location, finishing an in-depth written report can be daunting and tiring when it becomes a daily occurrence.

Accordingly, mystery shoppers should be careful about their workloads, especially when they have family-related priorities to think about.