A Night on the Files? Why 9-5 Might Not Be the Best for Your Office Productivity


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Is it easier to catch up on all the office filing at three in the morning than at three in the afternoon? Maybe, if the person doing the filing is someone whose powers of concentration are most focused at night. Traditionally the office workday has run from nine in the morning to five in the afternoon with only minor variations. Today employers are increasingly looking outside the 9 to 5 work schedule to both increase creativity and control costs. Here are some of the major reasons why the 9 to 5 work schedule may be going the way of the manual typewriter:

1. One Size Does Not Fit All

Science has shown that we all go through periods throughout the day when we are most creative and productive while at other times we are less so. Any rigidly set schedule is bound to lie outside some employee’s maximum productivity range, so a more varied range of scheduled work periods helps to ensure that everyone is working when they are most inspired.

2. Peak Concentration

Forcing people to work across unchosen and preordained time periods means employees are forced to work when they don’t feel like it, thereby causing them to be less focused and inspired. Letting people work more at the times they prefer to work increases the likelihood that your employees will be performing when they are at their best.

3. Save Time

Productive time gets wasted in a 9 to 5 schedule because either the worker or the work that needs to be done is unavailable within that time frame. With a looser schedule the work gets done when it needs to get done and under the circumstances most conducive to quality and more creative endeavors.

4. Save Money

Anything that increases productivity eventually translates into bigger profits. Employees that are happier, more focused and creative because they can schedule their time for maximum productivity will mean better results for all office activities. Perhaps the biggest money-saving step is to move the worker out of the office entirely and let them work from home! That way there are savings on office rental space and employees are free to arrange their work for when they can do their best.

For these reasons it is no wonder that more employers are experimenting with schedules outside the traditional 9 to 5 in order to both increase work quality and lower costs.

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