Is a 9 – 5 working day suitable for everyone?

Is a 9 – 5 working day suitable for everyone?

As Dolly Parton sang, ‘Workin 9 to 5. What a way to make a livin.‘ But according to a YouGov survey of 1,800 people just 6% of UK workers are working the ‘traditional’ hours of 9 – 5.

Almost 50% of workers who took part in the survey use flexible arrangements to help them with their other commitments, such as compressed hours and job sharing, according to a BBC News report.

The survey also found that out of the people who work full time, 37% like to work 8 – 4 and  21% like to start work at 7 am and finish by 3 pm.

The Future of Work

In our very own report The Future of Work published this month, we take a look at how generational differences have shaped the workplace and attitudes to work.

Employees today are looking for more flexible working hours. A full-time job with one employer was considered the norm for baby boomers. However, subsequent generations have expressed the expectation to shape their own independent work lives.

The Flex Appeal

The Flex Appeal was founded by Anna Whitehouse after her flexible working request was denied by her employer. Anna’s request was for a flexible arrangement of 15 minutes at the start and end of the day, so she can take her children to nursery.

Her employer refused this request on the grounds that it would encourage other workers to request the same thing.

The refusal of this request resulted in Anna resigning and blogging about her experience. She started the Flex Appeal to encourage businesses to trial flexible working.

So, what is flexible working?

Flexible working is when employers allow employees to choose when and where they work. If granted by the employer, the employee can choose when they start and finish (often within set flexi-time hours) or whether they work from home or elsewhere. Everyone who works in the UK has a statutory right to request flexible working, if they have worked continuously for the same employer for 26 weeks.

There is no doubt that working the ‘traditional’ hours of 9 – 5 does not suit everyone. Organisations are being faced with the need to clarify their policy on flexible working as a means to attract and retain employees.


Ultimately, the YouGov survey provides evidence that offering flexible working improves motivation and encourages employees to stay in their job for longer!

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