Say goodbye to 9 to 5

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Have you ever had one of those days when it seems impossible to get out of bed in time to be at the office at 9am sharp? Or are you the type to get in bright and early to get more work done so you can have an easy afternoon?

What if you could show up to work and leave whenever you wanted so long as your work was done?

There are a few companies around the world that are trialling flexible working hours for employees, allowing them to arrive and leave at their leisure as long as their work is done. Web development agency Potato recently told The Guardian it doesn’t have fixed working hours in staff contracts.

“At Potato we work on the basis that creative, complex work just doesn’t fit nicely into the nine-to-five mould and the same is true for the 40-hour work week,” says its chief executive Jason Cartwright.

“Instead, we give our teams the responsibility of managing their own time, believing that they are the best judges of the time that needs to be put in to achieve the best result on a project. By opening up the working day, we can cater to people’s workplace idiosyncrasies to let them do what feels right rather than what a company policy says is right. For example, not everyone is a morning person, but they might work well late into the night. In a nine-to-five model we’d lose at least half of their most productive hours.”

Dr Simon Archer, a reader in sleep genetics at the University of Surrey, says there is evidence to support a clear division in the way people work. Some are morning people, while others work better in the evening.

“In a way society is worse for evening people as they don’t want to go to bed early but they might have to get up early for their jobs. So what’s happening is they’re not getting enough sleep,” says Archer.

“They’re not lazy, it’s just their biology is shifted to a different time – and if they’re tired, they’ll be less productive. Everyone is different so there’s no single solution but flexible working hours is one good way to approach this, although that’s not always possible.”

We reported back in September that Sweden is introducing a six-hour workday in some companies and getting good results. Flexible working allows employees to focus on their own productivity while experiencing a better work-life balance.

The UK seems to be heading in the right direction, with 94% of organisations offering employees some form of flexible working, according to a report by the Institute of Leadership and Management. Although the current average workday is 8.6 hours over a five-day week, a YouGov poll shows 56% of Brits believe they are more productive only working up to seven hours a day.

Read the original article at bit.ly/1XDFxvS

 

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    AUTHOR

    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson