The “work world” is changing and it’s changing fast. With the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), there has been a rapid shift from working in-office to working from home. As individuals and organizations are adjusting to remote work, they are also changing their perception of the traditional 9-5 work shift.
Many professionals find themselves having to juggle their full-time jobs with a personal life that includes educating their children, caring for the seniors in their life, and an influx of other high-priority tasks. All in all, employers, co-workers, clients, and customers are collectively more understanding of a flexible work environment that sometimes includes hearing children’s voices in the background, or an off-hours video conference because they, too, are facing the same challenges.
- But what does this mean for the traditional work environment in a post-COIVD world?
- Should employees expect this same flexibility?
- Could this be the end of the traditional 9-5 work hours?
With the current circumstances, people have had to get creative about when they get their “40 hours” in
Tradition for Tradition's Sake
Traditionally, American businesses have held office hours Monday-Friday from 9-5 to achieve a 40-hour workweek.
With the current circumstances, people have had to get creative about when they get their “40 hours” in. As a result, more and more professionals are questioning the 9-5 shift. It is becoming clear to some, that the 5-day, 8-hour shift is a tradition that seems to be upheld merely for tradition’s sake; workers are learning first-hand there is no need to work the traditional 9-5, and are more productive when they can build their 40-hour work schedule.
Working in the Post-COVID-19 World
There are so many issues up in the air at the moment –particularly for professionals with dependents –that impact when they can work, where they can work, and how productive they will be when working.
With social distancing measures in place for the foreseeable future, having employees on staggered work schedules, may help your business limit the number of individuals working near each other, as well as retain any increases in employee productivity resulting from having a remote workforce.
Building Your Return to Work Plan
Companies should consider a revision of work hours and environments when putting together their return to work strategy. Consider which employees/positions can effectively work from home and can accommodate flex hours.
Companies need to assess their current positions and identify which ones are flexible in regard to work hours and location. From there, processes and checkpoints will need to be set up for organizations to track the productivity of these employees who are on a more “flexible” schedule.