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Why 9-5 is an outdated concept for the working day


In 1997, a youthful version of me was interviewed by BBC’s News night show as they examined the impact of ‘Information Overload’. Characteristically I was somewhat controversial (at the time) in putting forward my view that technology had improved my ability to manage a work/life balance. If you wish, you can see the clip here:

I'd rather hustle 24/7 than slave 9 to 5.-- Anon

Modern technology has changed the work-place.

Fortunately, many companies now recognize that modern technology, including the internet, can enable employees to have flexible schedules leading to greater productivity as well as enhancing their employees’ work-life balance. I believe there are many positive results from alternative work schedules and that workplaces should recognize that some people perform better at different parts of the day than others.

Instead of being confined to an office, successful business people utilize these ideas to complete tasks. Due to this, we can even enjoy fun activities – such as watching football games – between tasks, which lowers stress levels (although in my case, watching my favorite team Arsenal, often does the opposite!) and provides focus.

Of course when a business is in start-up mode, entrepreneurs will want to be working virtually 24/7 but as a company becomes more established a more balanced work/life schedule is definitely possible.

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment. -- Woody Allen

(Yes, I know this is quote has a tenuous link to this blog piece but I liked it so much I put it in anyway - Dan)

When are you most productive?

Many people have different times when they are most productive. Some people are more productive in the morning and could thrive on working early in the morning to midday. On the other hand, others are night owls whom prefer to work late into the evening.

The standard 9-5 can be good for some (especially in client facing, specialized professions such as medicine and dentistry). On the other hand for office workers, the traditional work day focuses on hours worked instead of pure productivity. If qualified people were given the freedom to work the hours in which they are the most productive, this would be a win-win situation for employees and companies. It’s all about results really.

Remember that old saying: It’s not the hours you put in, but what you put in the hours!

Can this help companies achieve their objectives?

In my view it can. There is no substitute for hard work but with a technology influenced world, companies should consider the advantages of having flexible working hours (or even days!) Everybody including working parents, CEO’s as well as people that simply want to have more freedom pursuing their passions and spending more time with the family, can leverage technology to improve their mental and physical health as well as advancing their careers.



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