Is the Nine to Five Dying?

September 8th, 2015 by

recruitingIs the traditional nine-to-five work schedule a thing of the past? It appears a lot of workers seem to think so.  A recent CareerBuilder survey of more than 1,000 IT, financial services, sales, and business workers reveals 63 percent of workers believe the traditional nine-to-five model is an “outdated concept.”

The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll from May 14 to June 3, shows how a large share of today’s workers are operating under a much more flexible work schedule than in the past.

And while many bosses may fear the loss of the traditional work frame, they need not panic just yet. While it is true that many employees no longer see the point of coming into the office five days a week, that doesn’t necessarily mean employees have lost interest in their work.

“With improvements in technology that enable employees to check in at any time, from anywhere, it makes sense to allow employees to work outside the traditional nine-to-five schedule,” said Rosemary Haefner, Chief HR Officer of CareerBuilder.

With this ability to access their work documents, calendars, and emails remotely, many of today’s workers see little to no point in sitting behind an office desk to complete their work.

In fact, 50 percent of those surveyed say they “check or respond to work emails outside of work” and nearly 40 percent say they continue to work outside of office hours.

While businesses obviously cannot allow the nine-to-five model to dissolve completely, this growing trend reflects the clear need for more flexibility within employees’ schedules.

“Moving away from a nine-to-five work week may not be possible for some companies (yet), but if done right, allowing employees more freedom and flexibility with their schedules can boost productivity,” said Haefner.

While the long-term effects of moving away from the traditional workweek remain to be seen, there does seem to be an attractive set of benefits to offering employees greater workplace flexibility:

  • Improved sense of loyalty: Employees are likely to be more attached and committed to a workplace that takes their needs for flexibility into consideration, thus resulting in
  • Greater retention: Employees will be more likely to stay in their positions if they feel content and satisfied with the work schedule
  • Heightened morale: Employees will feel more engaged and fulfilled with their work when they are working with a schedule that best suits their needs
  • Around the clock inspiration: Rather than having an employee simply turn “off” of work at 5 o’clock, giving your employees a flexible schedule will allow them to remain open to new ideas and inspiration at all hours of the day.

The nine-to-five isn’t going to disappear any time soon, but it will likely begin to change little by little to match today’s changing technological landscape. The CareerBuilder survey is beginning to show us those little changes, and businesses need to be prepared to adapt to meet them.  With the popularity of the traditional workweek waning and the benefits of workplace flexibility becoming more apparent, businesses may need to “get with the times” before losing out on top talent to more accommodating firms.

If you have any questions about how you can create a more flexible workplace within your company, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

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