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The 9-to-5 is Dead: Do You Work Too Much?

23 August 2018
Besma Whayeb
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It’s clear: the traditional work day is dead. More and more of us are working different hours to the ones prescribed in workplaces of the past – but is it a good thing?

YouGov recently reported only 6% of people in the UK work from nine to five. That leaves 94% of us working different hours – and almost half of those are flexible.

But does the end of Dolly Parton’s work day mean we’ve got more freedom, or that we’re working longer, harder shifts?

End of traditional working patterns

In the report conducted for McDonald’s, 58% of workers want to move away from traditional working patterns. It shows how many of us would like to work at times that suit us best. That includes allowances for long commutes, family responsibilities, and simply knowing when we’ll work best.

And this isn’t anything new: another report found 90% disliked the usual nine-to-five day. But what does our new workday look like?

The 8-to-4 alternative

From the report, it seems many British workers are early birds! Instead of getting away from a typical routine, two thirds of us would prefer to start and end our working days earlier. While there’s no clear reason as to why, it may be that we want more time in the evenings to relax, socialise, or even start a side-hustle.

Longer work days, shorter work weeks

For some, it’s less about daily hours, and more about free-time. The traditional two-day weekend could be given an overhaul, as just under half of UK adults (48%) would prefer a longer work day and gain a shorter work week. However, it’s important to consider how this could affect productivity, and possibly even mental health.

Flexible working for all

While flexible working has been stereotypically been seen as an option for those returning to work, or new parents, it appears we all want it.

78% of parents prefer flexible working, but so does 83% of students. We’re no longer being defined only by our job titles – and instead, prioritising life outside of work. Alongside changes to working hours, there’s a push for more social workplaces, and working closer to home.