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Blog Posted in avatar   James Mechan's Blog

The death of the 9-5: why fixed working hours are a thing of the past

By James Mechan
Posted Aug 23, 2012 in Business
• Average British working day now from 07.17 to 19:02
• Workers check emails on average 6 times per day outside of work
• More people setting up their own companies to take control of working life
The traditional 9-5 working day has been part of Britain’s working culture for over 100 years, but is rapidly decreasing in popularity. Society has developed beyond all recognition since the introduction of the eight-hour working day, and it seems that the current working generation are beginning to realise that a rigid eight hour day might not actually be the most productive way to work.
Unfortunately, the working day is becoming longer – a recent study shows that the average working day in the UK is from 7.17am to 7.02pm – that’s an 11 hours and 45 minutes.
This might not come as a surprise to many: the reason is that we are now seemingly constantly connected – not only to our social circles, but to our work. Even though we may leave work at 5pm we remain mentally ‘at work’ well beyond this time. We check work emails and ‘just finish something off’, simply because we can. And we shouldn’t.
Checking emails on the commute to work can see us ‘virtually’ at our desks long before 9am. Surveys have shown that office workers check their work emails six times a day outside of office hours. We also spend over two hours a day sending emails: creating a decrease in productivity and an increase in the pressure felt to continue working at home.
Working an average of just less than 12 hours a day is obviously going to have its downside: social activities take a back seat, personal relationships suffer and time spent with our children diminishes as we check on our Blackberry more than we check if the kids are sleeping.
The trouble is many people allow our technological advancements to restrain, rather than to liberate.
There is a well-documented rise in the number of people starting their own business. And it’s no wonder: the increase in working hours is not easy to handle. And it has been long-contested that eight consecutive working hours is in no way conducive to productivity.
It’s often said that most workers are only actually productive for around three to four hours a day. Those creating their own company are able to harness their productivity; working as and when is most suitable for them. If you work better in the afternoon, you can lose three or four hours each day before your brain is functioning properly – this means you feel unnecessary strain and pressure from an employer because you didn’t produce eight hours’ worth of work. But if you are able to set your own working hours, you may find you’re more productive in choosing your own four working hours than in eight enforced working hours.
If this sounds appealing to you, it’s not actually that difficult to get your own business off the ground. It can be done in a matter of days, if you opt for online company registration, have faith in your business idea, and have the dedication and focus to make it work and take control of your working life!

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