The End of 9 to 5? How Work Schedules are Changing

Is the traditional 9-to-5 workday obsolete? Many would say so. There seems to be a consensus among both employers and employees that a shift needs to be made in how the traditional workday is structured. The present-day model doesn’t really promote a healthy work-life balance or stimulate productivity. Too much of a routine can be dangerous. Longer, more rigid hours don’t always equal more work being done. Employees may be coming in for 40-hour weeks, but if they aren’t using that time wisely, then businesses actually lose out in the long run.

The History of the 9-to-5 Workday 

The idea of working from 9 to 5 is a product of socialism during the 19th century. It wasn’t until 1890 that the U.S. government started to track workers’ hours. Up until that point, employees could work up to 100 hours a week and there were no laws protecting children. In 1926, Ford Motors was one of the first companies to adapt the 9-to-5 model and helped to make it more mainstream. In 1938, the U.S. congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which made the workweek 44 hours. In 1940, it was readjusted to the five-day, 40-hour workweek that remains the basic standard today.

The Mindset of Millennials and Entrepreneurs

A 9-to-5 simply isn’t for everyone. If you feel trapped easily, especially sitting in a cubicle, dislike routine and/or mundane tasks, and have a problem with authority, then maybe a job in a more creative setting, or of an entrepreneurial nature, would suit you better. At the top of the list, millennials seem to feel the most dissatisfied with the traditional workday structure, placing greater importance on factors like flexibility, impactful or purposeful labour, and economic security. They’re also more willing to seek employment on their own terms and work freelance.

Structured Benefits

The 9-to-5 model does, however, have some major benefits. While some find the routine repetitive, others may find the predictability comforting. Stability and financial security are two of the main reasons many people in years past stayed at the same job for decades. A 9-to-5 job gives people a set schedule they can plan around, as opposed to shift work, where employees don’t always know what their upcoming schedule will look like from one week to the next.

The Possibility of a 4-Day Workweek

One alternative suggestion that’s been gathering support in recent years is for a “compressed” four-day workweek. Employees would work four 10-hour shifts instead of five eight-hour shifts, with Friday becoming a third day of the weekend. Experts have argued for and against it; some say that it would motivate employees to work harder, doesn’t disturb workflow, cuts down on time-consuming commutes (which in turn reduces workers’ spending on gas or transit), eases burnout risks, and promotes other activities. The counterarguments to the new working pattern are that longer standard workdays would be more draining and stressful, and a revamped workweek would potentially affect working parents, who have to deal with things like daycare services.

Our lives are much more than just our jobs. “Work to live, don’t live to work” is a common mantra. The 9-to-5 model may have worked in decades past, but times are changing. Our world is constantly evolving, and so is society. Thanks to recent advances in technology, many businesses can run from a home or out of a remote location. The traditional ways that most workplaces have run are quickly becoming a thing of the past, as the workweek becomes increasingly fluid.

At the end of the day, however work schedules hardly matter if you have purpose in your life. Regardless of the time of day or week, the hours will fly by if you’re doing something you enjoy.

 

Rhea Braganza

 

Importance of Building Office Culture

A company’s culture plays an important role in a business. Culture establishes a unique identity. In a historic sense, culture is a way of life. It developed so that people from different cultural backgrounds are able to identify and represent a community. To exert this theory, office culture exudes the same characteristics. This assists with co-operative work that encourages improved development. It’s an evolving element that promotes enthusiasm, innovation, productivity and techniques to solve problems within the office. Building this type of workplace environment is paramount for the corporate soul.

Most entrepreneurs start a business for many reasons. One of them is to build and develop an office culture that is unique and differentiates from other organizations. This includes newsletters, websites, and especially job postings. It will give the essence of your business structure and represents what it stands for. It is challenging when a company does not have a specific way of doing things. Culture is necessary for a business to identify aspects of their organization to give a significant element that influences how work gets done.

The formula for successfully hiring the right fit for your company is pretty simple: clearly outline the goal and practices that characterized your organization. Not only will it make your company unique and stand out from other hiring processes, but you will also attract and retain talent that will be the perfect fit for the intended position. In the business world (and personal life), we tend to gravitate towards people we have something in common with. The hiring process should be no exception. Essentially, cultural fit means conventional or social practices associated with a particular field. As Lauren Kolbe, founder of kolbeCo said, “An employee who is not aligned with the culture and is not committed to living it can wreak havoc pretty quickly, even if they bring a great deal of skill and experience to their craft”.

One of the main things that can ruin a company’s hard-earned reputation, is hiring a decadent candidate that is completely off with the office personality. Employees represent your company even outside of work, so one bad discretion can affect an entire department and possibly decrease productivity and sales. This is why it is imperative to recognize a strong fit when you see it: by aligning your organization’s culture with strategy.

Building an office culture is important for more reasons than one. It also promotes employee’s happiness, in and outside of work. The tie in is to not have the staff dread coming in to work. An open line of communication between employees and management can avert minor concerns from becoming intense stressors. For Instance, companies that reserve employees to leave during traditional work hours for doctors visits, or to simply have a personal day to gather their thoughts or to clear their minds, allows employees to be well rested, eager and productive. There are many practices that elaborates good company culture, but one component that is indeed a major factor in sustaining an effective office culture, is recognizing the excellence of its employees.  This prides itself on being a pioneer in workplace culture by supporting employees’ personal and professional growth. Apart from hiring and retaining the right fit for your company, keeping your tenure staff exultant and engaged encourages a healthy work life balance.

 “Maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy.”– Howard Stevenson

 

L. Paul | DBPC