2019 is the time to start asking the tough questions. Is it time to throw what we know out the window? Or do we expect new workers to adapt to existing industry standards? We’re here to examine current trends in the workforce and ask the question: Is the 40-hour work week outdated?
Adapting to Change
In an era where you can receive an immediate email or text response, and most tech can be configured for mobile use, it’s hard to justify the need for a typical 9-5 in-office schedule. In Europe, many corporations have shifted to a six-hour workday. Many U.S. institutions provide a complete work-from-home experience as an option. Telecommuting seems like a no-brainer when any companies set up fast-chat options to rapidly communicate with co-workers and clients. These include Skype for Business or Slack. When such innovations are available, why conform to a traditional 40-hour work week?
Have you ever done eight straight hours of work, uninterrupted? Perhaps. But it’s more than likely that you find yourself taking breaks throughout the day to check social media or even just to stretch your legs. Resting is good for your brain, so why should we expect our workers to meet impossible standards? Reframing an employee’s working hours allows them to develop and utilize their peak productivity, whether it’s 6am-6pm with long breaks, or 9 am-3 pm with minimal interruptions.
Who Benefits From a Flex Schedule?
To give your company every advantage, offer your employees a flexible schedule. As a manager, you can choose to abandon the typical 9-5 model, or pilot remote schedules for some staff members. Changing it up could reveal the following benefits for employees:
- improved mental health;
- at home trainings for growth and professional development;
- tactful scheduling; and
- builds trust and employee confidence.
You may also discover perks for managers:
- decreases micromanagement;
- frees your time for projects and day-to-day tasks;
- brings in desirable candidates;
- keeps morale high; and
- boosts team productivity.