Is 9-to-5 working now a thing of the past?

For a long time, the traditional model of full-time employment – particularly in office-based jobs – has involved clocking on at 9am and heading home at 5pm, with a couple of breaks in-between.

But is that still a valid and relevant idea? Research has indicated that many people now see the ‘9-to-5’ working day as an outdated concept.

With new and evolving technologies making it easier than ever for employees to work anywhere, at any time, should we be looking for a new accepted model of full-time employment?

Leaving the 9-to-5 behind

In a recent survey of 1,200 UK workers by CV-Library, nearly six out of ten respondents (59 per cent) held the opinion that the traditional 9-to-5 day is no longer relevant for the modern world of work.

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) said they work better at certain times of the day, while two-thirds (68 per cent) wanted the option to work hours that suited their natural patterns and habits.

Nearly two in three professionals (64 per cent) said they felt most productive in the morning and 21 per cent preferred to work in the afternoon. Only nine per cent said they worked best in the evening and just six per cent were suited to working late at night.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said: “There are ongoing debates surrounding the traditional 9-to-5 and whether this ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is still beneficial. It’s clear from the data that UK professionals know their own work patterns and would prefer to tailor their working hours around when they’re at their most productive.

“Allowing for more flexible hours could be hugely beneficial, not only to employees but also their employers. Something as simple as letting staff start an hour earlier or later depending on their needs could be all it takes.”

A substantial majority (87 per cent) of respondents to the survey felt that all businesses should offer flexible working options. However, less than three in ten (27 per cent) said they could work from home when they wanted to.

Is flexible working the future?

Mr Biggins pointed out that flexible working is something an increasing number of modern-day workers look for when they are job-hunting.

According to a separate study by NGA Human Resources, 33 per cent of job candidates have declined a job offer because of a lack of flexible working options.

Embracing flexibility can be equally beneficial for employees and businesses, with the organisation possibly able to reduce costs by having fewer people in the workplace. It could also make it more feasible to realise the financial benefits of short-term office hire, as opposed to a long-term lease.

Offering flexible working options can also boost staff morale and consequently raise productivity.

While there are many advantages to be gained, there are also significant considerations linked to workplace flexibility, such as ensuring that it will not have an impact on an individual’s ability to do their job.
Used in the right circumstances, however, flexible working methods can help businesses to grow and allow employees to leave the ‘9-to-5’ behind.

Research has suggested that many people now see the ‘9-to-5’ working day as an old-fashioned concept.


Posted by Ben Garbett

Image courtesy of iStock/BrianAJackson

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