Posted 17/11/2017

Whatever happened to the 9-5?

We are beginning to embrace flexible working practices

Don’t panic! This isn’t a blog about how today’s working world dictates that we work beyond the hours of 9-5.

This isn’t about the expectations of working in the City, or Silicon Valley – starting early, finishing late, and fitting in client lunches and dinners around long hours spent in the office.

This isn’t a blog about burning the work candle at both ends.

Quite the opposite!

The idea of work/life integration forms the basis of my latest book, “Live, Love, Work, Prosper” and I promise you, it is the way forward!

This is about the culture of work shifting in line with advances in technology and equality, and the positive influences of the Millennial workforce.

We are beginning to embrace flexible and remote working practices and the 9-5 is becoming a thing of the past… slowly but surely.

Technology enables so many of us to work remotely these days. There’s simply no real need to be present in the office if you have a work day ahead of you that can be conducted alone, i.e. you have no meetings to attend or presentations to give.

Why not stay in the comfort of your own home with your laptop fired up and a phone to hand? You can plough through work without the stress of interruptions or the dread of the commute home.

And working from home isn’t just an excuse to stay in your PJs and have an easier day of business…

According to this article about remote working in The Telegraph, a survey by Canada Life found that employees working from home ranked their productivity at 7.7/10 while those in office-based roles scored themselves 6.5/10.

It is common to see employees working from home put in extra hours in the day to justify their position and be highly visible to their colleagues online, as they are not present in the office. They want to be seen to be working efficiently and effectively despite not being physically present.

This mindset is one that is firmly in place with Millennials – who now represent the largest generation in the workforce – as they seek to strike a balance between living to work and working to live.

Ann-Victoire Pincé, one of the authors of “From Millennials With Love”, relates directly with my ideal of work/life integration: “I love what I do. If my client calls me at 10 o’clock in the evening, maybe it’ll bother me if it’s every day, but if it’s once in a while, I’m super happy that I’m able to help with something important to them”.

And a recent study by Adobe found that Millennials are pretty obsessed with email. With more than half of Millennials aged 18-24 checking their emails before even getting out of bed in the morning.

Now that probably sounds like a work-commitment too far for some people, but actually, this is all ok!

Being open to the idea of working outside of the 9-5 means you can also manage your personal life within the 9-5.

Flexible working opens up a wealth of opportunities for working parents, digital natives and retirees, to blend work and personal life. It allows for attending personal appointments and being present at school events; for working in the evenings around young children or for maintaining an income while building a startup.

And with the added benefits of fewer sick days, a reduction in commuting times and increased retention of staff through higher rates of job satisfaction, it’s difficult to see why this model isn’t gaining ground faster.

So whether you are the employer or the employee, let’s all think about ways to help each other integrate work and life and think of the benefits it will bring to business and personal lives.

The 9-5 doesn’t need to be happening anymore – it’s time to Live, Love, Work and Prosper in equal measure!

To find out more about this working model – and how I have used it to bring about harmony in my work and personal lives, give “Live, Love, Work, Prosper” a read. It’s available for pre-order here ahead of its release early next year!

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