May is “Revise Your Work Schedule Month”! In today’s world with artificial lights, caffeine, and more responsibilities than ever, most work schedules have changed drastically.
Do you know which schedule works best for you? Below we cover a few of the most common work schedules along with our pros and cons, take a look and see which one is the best fit for you!
1) The 9 to 5
This is probably the most “traditional” work schedule, at least for most of the workforce in America. Do you know where the 9-5 work day schedule originated though?
A Welsh social reformer, Richard Owen, was the first one to suggest an 8 hour work day during the Industrial Revolution, when most people were working 16+ hours a day. Why 8 hours? Well there are 24 hours in a day so you divide it by 3, 8 hours for work, 8 hours for leisure, and 8 hours for sleep.
Learn more about the origins of the 9 to 5 work schedule.
- A structured schedule that rarely changes.
- Traditional, for most corporations.
- Understood by majority of Americans.
- Works well for most daycare pick up and drop offs
- The expectation is you arrive by 9 and work til 5, with a lunch break.
- Repetitive. Monday to Friday it’s the same routine.
- Difficult to fit the personal appointments and errands, like dentist appointments when they have the same working hours as you.
*With a lot of the companies we know 9 to 5 is a way of the past, and something like 8 to 5 or 9 to 6 is more realistic because you still get 40 hours of work and lunch breaks. Obviously the standard can differ greatly based on the company.
2) Work from Home
Working from home has on the rise for a variety of reasons. The increase of affordable and integrated technology allows people to video conference and connect to their computers and other remote employees. This flexibility has allowed companies to hire the best talent, no matter where in the world they live.
New York to LA? No problem.
New York to London? No problem.
Real time work can be done even when thousands of miles lie between two people. But not everything is perfect when working from home there can be some significant challenges that come with mixing work and home life in the same space.
- No daily commute. Saves on gas, tools, wear and tear on the car or a commuter pass.
- No morning stress of getting out the door or bumper to bumper traffic.
- Typically it allows for a little more flexibility in working hours.
- It’s your personal office space to allow you to decorate as YOU see fit.
- A very flexible dress code, especially if you are not on video during the day.
- Personal distractions.
- Less structure.
- Missing out on the typical office experience and water cooler talk.
- No daily face to face interaction with co-workers and on the fly collaboration.
- Many people struggle with management of time and guilt. They end up working longer hours because they may take a break to get something done, like laundry.
Find out more of the pros and cons of working from home. Do you work from home? What is the biggest challenge you have noticed?
3) Start early, leave early or satrt late, leave late.
Depending on where you live traffic and commuting into work on a daily basis can be a challenge. To try and alleviate some of that pressure or extended commute time during peak hours many companies offer a revised work schedule. This allows employees to come into work early and leave early or vice versa.
At Kane Partners, our office is across the street from Merck. As you can imagine with 1,000s of employees everyday at 4pm we see the mass exodus of cars exiting the campus to try and avoid rush hour.
This flexibility and mindset makes great use of working time and personal time. Employees put in the same amount of hours in the office each day but now have more time to themselves because they miss the majority of traffic, and in a place like Philadelphia that is a big deal. Ever hear of 76 at rush hour? Not fun.
Another version of this is allowing employees to come in an hour earlier Monday – Thursday and then have a half day on Friday, when the officially clock 40 hours.
- Miss or gain a head start on rush hour traffic.
- Your day ends earlier so you can have a new window of time to tackle personal errands while businesses are still open.
- Earlier wake up and start time. If you’re not a morning person, this can be tough.
- You potentially can miss out on end of day meetings or last minute details.
- Some employers will expect you to stay if it is not a practice of all employees to leave early.
4) Mix of Work From Home/In the Office
We have seen a number of companies start to do a mix of days you are in the office and days you work from home. Depending on your job, personality and preferences that could be a pro or con. It is definitely challenging to keep switching between the two on a regular basis, but it’s also nice that you don’t have the same routine all the time.
- Change. It’s a mix of both and certainly is not boring.
- Offers time for both individual and team time to accomplish tasks.
- It is a lot to juggle - in and out of the office.
- If you are not extremely organized or all your information is online, keeping track of items can be difficult if you ‘forgot’ something at home.
- You can be unintentionally out of the loop when out of the office causing frustration across the board.
This is our take on the pros and cons as an employee. There are two sides and the company also have benefits. Now you can see the best and worst part of a few different work schedules, which one would work best for you?