The markets never sleep – but as humans, we do. However, with the rise in flexible working and the decrease in the typical 9-5 working schedule, could we be heading towards becoming a workforce that replicates the schedule of the markets?
With many companies now providing their employees with the ability to work from anywhere we are able to forget about the daily commute, hour lunch break, 9am start and 5pm finish. Instead we can now, within reason, decide we want to work from a coffee shop, our dining room or even an airport lounge – whether that be at 5am or 7pm.
The flexibility that is provided due to the collaborative technology now available, such as Unified Communications, means that there are no limits to when and where we work.
Why the death of 9-5?
With the technology now available, and the increased flexibility of working hours across many firms as standard, employees no longer want to be fixed to a desk and set hours. Many companies recognise this and understand that providing their employees the ability to make decisions when it comes to their jobs allows them to have an increased level of job satisfaction and a better work/life balance too.
In previous years, only recently too, the lack of high-speed internet and connectivity between home and the office would mean that remote working from home, let alone an alternative location, would be near impossible – to work productively, anyway. However this gap has now been closed with products such as Desktop-as-a-Service and video conferencing which enable remote workers to remain productive, work efficiently and feel connected to their colleagues in the office – however many miles away they are.
So with the ability to be flexible, whilst still achieving and meeting set KPI’s, employees don’t feel the need for regulations such as 9-5. In fact younger generations are often opting for jobs that provide increased flexibility over those that provide a higher salary – personally I think this really puts it in to perspective. One reason alone is that the benefits aligned with not commuting in to work every day mean that even with a cut to an employee’s annual salary they are not always worse off.
What’s the view to the future?
Flexible, remote working is here to stay and will be the way that many business evolve. Not only is it beneficial for employees, in both a work/life aspect and also with the cost saving benefits, but for employers too – instead of leasing a commercial office that has desks for all their employees they can instead lease a smaller office, allow employees to work remotely and hot desk instead when they do need to come in to the office.
Means of collaboration and communication for employees will continue to evolve too, leading to them working even better and smoother than they do now. With things such as desktop sharing and presence colleagues can collaborate from various locations; whilst still looking at the document that they need to and whilst knowing exactly when their colleague is available to talk.
Of course, this all rests on businesses understanding the value of flexible working and implementing suitable policies to allow for it. Naturally there are concerns about allowing employees to work externally from the office, but it works for many successful companies across the world – and with the correct implementation there is no reason it cannot work for them too.
It may be time to say RIP to 9-5 but generally it is a positive thing – whilst it may leave us working late in to the night, being able to sleep that little later in the morning is definitely not a bad thing. Avoiding a crowded tube each day is a bonus too.