More than half (58.6 per cent) of UK workers believe that the traditional 9-5 is an outdated concept, with three quarters (77.2 per cent) admitting that they work better at certain times of day. This is according to a recent study from CV-Library.

The survey of 1,200 professionals explored how the nation’s workers feel about 9-5 working hours, and whether these are still fit for purpose. The data revealed that two thirds (67.6 per cent) would prefer to work hours that suited their natural pattern and when they work best. When asked what time of day they are most productive, respondents cited the following:

In the morning – 64.2 per cent
In the afternoon – 20.9 per cent
In the evening – 9.3 per cent
Late at night – 5.6 per cent

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments, ‘There are ongoing debates surrounding the traditional 9-5 and whether this ‘one size fits all’ approach is still beneficial. It’s clear from the data that UK professionals know their own work patterns and would prefer to tailor their working hours around when they’re at their most productive. Allowing for more flexible hours could be hugely beneficial, not only to employees but also their employers. Something as simple as letting staff start an hour earlier or later depending on their needs could be all it takes.

‘That said, flexible working does tend to bring with it issues of work-life balance. Doing away with the structured 9-5 could further blur the lines between work and private life. Should you choose to take this approach, it’s vital that you ensure your staff are sticking to their contracted hours and not putting in too much overtime.’

What’s more, the majority (86.5 per cent) of professionals believe that all businesses should offer flexible working, and yet only one quarter (27.3 per cent) have the opportunity to work from home when they want to. Those who do have the option to work from home were asked where they felt they worked best and interestingly, 17.1 per cent said they work better in the office. A further 25 per cent said they work best at home and the remaining 57.9 per cent said they work just as well in either location.

Biggins concludes, ‘Flexible working is becoming increasingly popular, and is in fact something many professionals take into consideration when applying for jobs. Businesses need to consider carefully whether they should be offering this style of working, as this could be the key to securing and retaining talented members of staff. Not only this, but with such a huge percentage saying they work better, or just as well, at home, employers can feel safe in the knowledge that they’re getting the most from their workforce, even when they aren’t operating under the traditional 9-5.’

Further reading on working 9-5

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