Working 9-5 isn’t just one of Dolly Parton’s best-known songs, it’s a state of mind, a shorthand phrase for the working day and the weekly grind. While those hours used to signify the typical working day up until a few years ago, more modern flexible working policies seem to have shifted it a bit.
Not a huge amount, though, just enough to make the day easier.
But how can your human resources department make flexible working happen? Well, you can get someone like elliswhittam on board for the advice you need, but first you need to understand what ‘easier’ entails. Let’s talk about it, shall we?
It seems 8-4 is the new thing
A recent survey performed by YouGov Omnibus found that two-thirds of British workers would, if they could, start and finish their working day earlier.
The survey asked respondents which eight-hour stint they’d most like to do and only 14% of them would stick with the old 9-5 routine. Starting later was only marginally more popular, with just 15% saying they’d like to start after 9.00am.
Far more popular was the option of working from 8.00am to 4.00pm; 25% of the survey respondents pegged these times as their ideal working day. This was the most commonly-chosen option of all.
Some respondents would like to work from 7.00am to 3.00pm, while 13% wanted to shift their day by just half an hour to 8.30am to 4.30am.
Is it the school run?
Many people’s first thought upon reading this research is to explain it with the school run. Parents probably want to be able to drop children at school or nursery and then pick them up earlier so bath and bedtimes are easier. However, people without children (62%), or whose children were adults (73%), were just as likely to want an early start as those with school-age children. Workers with secondary school-age children (71%) were more likely to want an earlier start than those with primary school-age children (67%).
In the UK, youngsters and Londoners want a later start
Two things that definitely affected someone’s choices were their age and whether they lived in London or not. While most people in all age ranges wanted an earlier start, if someone was younger they were more likely to want to start work after 9.00am – 19% of the 18-24 year olds wanted a lie-in, compared to just 9% of the 54-65 year olds.
Londoners also seemed to want to start work a little later than workers in the other parts of the UK. More than a quarter (27%) of workers in the capital dream of a later start; this is compared to just 12% of workers elsewhere in the south. Only 13% of workers in the north want to start a bit later.
This desire for a later start in London is probably down to the fact that London’s workforce is younger than the rest of the country’s (we already know that the younger demographic wants a later start) and that, whatever the age of the worker, London’s rush hour is well worth avoiding if at all possible!