Is the 9-5 model really the most effective use of our time?

An image of several people in an office

As Dolly Parton iconically sang, regular 9-5 working hours can be soul-destroying. Although it is true that for some people, working the same hours every day and sticking to a structured routine can be beneficial, for many of us, it has been linked to higher incidences of stress-related illnesses.

Where did the 8-hour workday come from?

The 8-hour workday is not a particularly novel concept. It was only invented in the 1900s by Henry Ford (who’s name you’ll recognise as being the inventor of the Ford car). The reason for his creation of this novel working day was to attract autoworkers, who were actually used to working for 12 hours.

The 8-hour working day and 40-hour working week, therefore, exists only arbitrarily, and there isn’t really any reason or proof that it is right.

Does working 8 hours a day actually increase proactivity?

More and more companies are starting not to think so. Logically speaking, work should be calculated on a task and performance basis, rather than a time-spent basis. Companies that glorify overtime may find themselves with higher turnover rates and burned-out workers.

They may even find that their workers are less productive with their time, and are more likely to spend extra time performing, what should be, quick tasks.

Lessons from covid-19

It is turning into a bit of a trope now that companies, which were traditionally office-based, having gone home-based because of covid-19, have found some unexpected benefits to the fact.

Surveys over British working people have found generally that the majority of people have enjoyed, and even preferred, the flexibility offered by home-working. It has been part of a definite shift towards task-centered working, rather than hour-centered working.

Aston Black

Our accounting firm has been home-based for a while. We pride ourselves on working the hours that suit us the best, rather than sticking to the outdated 9-5 template. We have seen definite benefits to our model, as our coworkers are much happier and feel less reluctance towards the tasks at hand.

As a small company, we have a friendly and personal approach to our business. To get in touch, fill out the form here.