Why Working 9-5 Monday to Friday

Why Do We Work 9-5 Monday To Friday When It’s Flawed?

Working 9-5. There’s a song about it, over 22 million people do it in the UK yet given the change in technologies and attitudes none of us understand why this is the case. Let’s be real. The 9-5 Monday – Friday system is actually and in some cases will hinder the business. Don’t get me wrong some businesses need to operate on 9-5 hours but in most cases when so much has changed in business do we need to still stick to the rigid way of working?

Attracting the Y generation needs to involve a switch in this 9-5 mentality especially when it might make both commercial sense and retention sense. Would you SERIOUSLY consider losing one of your star employee’s over the hours they work? Here’s why the 9-5 may be driving your employee’s away.


I’m like a broken record when it comes to commuting and having created my commute time calculator i’m a huge advocate of the smallest commute possible. I appreciate the fact people have to commute to the office but why do we maintain rigid working hours so that this commute is as painful for our employee’s as possible? Wouldn’t staggered working hours benefit those who have to commute on difficult journeys?

I have friends who justify their commutes and tell me they ‘LOVE’ the time they spend commuting on the train listening to music. I totally get that but surely that’s just a distraction from the commute itself?

I’ve spoke with people who commute over an hour to work which I personally feel is a total productivity and efficiency killer. There must be opportunities to reduce these commutes by tweaking working hours? 

This is a huge flaw of the 9-5 and one the most innovative companies can break. Instead of stressing the shit out of every single one of our employee’s why not give them the opportunity to commute outside the typical hours? Let them start work at 7 or alternatively start work at 10. I’d much prefer an employee arriving bright eyed and bushy tailed having had a pleasant commute as opposed to bumping and grinding on the motorway. Call me crazy!


I read a great point on the Skool of life where he mentions that everything is ‘geared for the weekends’. Radio stations all talk about typical 9-5 ers living for the weekend. But why is this? Are we that unhappy in our jobs that a 48 hour spell on a weekend rescues us from our job? Are we getting the full potential of our employee’s if they view work in this way? I feel the way work is structured and maintained with a 9-5 5 days a week mantra creates this. It creates a robot like situation where people crave this slight bit of freedom. Do we question the working environment we have built as a result of this?

Allowing more freedom to employee’s may help remove this mind set and change in media beliefs that everyone lives for the weekend. Why not remove these barriers and unhappiness and try and instil some work passion.

Office Time:

The notion of a 9-5 creates the situation where ‘office time’ is mandatory and performance is measured on the time you spend in the office. I have touched on this point before but because companies set such structured working hours there’s a belief that those who merely work the 9-5 are ‘slackers’ or lack the passion of other employee’s. Measuring performance by office time is ridiculous and in some ways embarrassing. The 9-5 Monday to Friday schedule has created this perception. You would think that in a generation of smart phones, connectivity from anywhere in the world that maybe this fossil like perception would be removed. Unfortunately the 9-5 makes sure it stays well within the thoughts of people.


Are 9-5 your most productive hours? Is it possible for all humans to be programmed where we are all at our prime at these times? I would hazard a guess as no.

My old organisation had relatively structured working hours where you had to be in the office between 8-9am and leave  between 5-6pm. As an early riser I used to wake around 6 and work on solo projects before I ventured to work. They were arguably my most productive hours. Unfortunately my organisation were unable to benefit from my most productive hours as their rigid working hours prevented this. Furthermore in global companies there may be a requirement for conference calls with the team in the US. Why would you make your employee’s come to the office at 9am and leave at 5pm if they still had calls to make with the US at 7pm GMT?

Work should be structured around the productive hours of an employee or the demands of the business without placing strain on the individual. If someone has a call at 7pm GMT for two hours then they should leave the office early, complete things they would typically be doing at 7pm to compensate. Structure and the lack of flexibility creates a hostile, unhappy environment and drives individuals away.



Working 9-5 is purely down to a generation of conditioning that this is the way to work. We admire those who break the mould yet we continue to stick to the status quo almost like it’s a pipe dream or unattainable milestone to seek more flexible hours. I’m writing this at 6:45pm on a Sunday, while dinner is cooking and I have some free time. Does that make me a lazy or does it make me someone with passion for what I am doing?

In my previous role I worked a standard 9-5 yet I had been awake since 6am. I was lethargic, unhealthy and unhappy. The structure was flawed for me. In my current role I start work at 6:15 am (which matches the demands of the business and my personal productivity), I eat fantastic and exercise 5 times a week. I am very happy and passionate about everything I do. I have broken the flawed system.

Do you work 9-5 but would be much happier working different hours? Do you own an organisation and afford your employee’s flexibility with their working hours? I would love to hear from you in the comments box below.
About the author

Ryan Gibson

Hey! I'm a 28 year old digital marketing guy residing in Leeds, England. My skill is in search marketing and I have gathered over 6 years experience of working on large multilingual campaigns for a number of FTSE 250 Organisations. After accepting a role with a business based in Singapore I began questioning traditional business practice and employee retention. This blog GenerationY.com was therefore born with focus on Y in the workplace. A millennial child at heart I aim to provide a voice for the 'misunderstood' generation and my goal is simply to change perception and corporate mind set on work/life attitudes; inspiring companies and individuals to seek change.


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