Careers

The 9 to 5 working day could be on its way out, as Britons crave flexible shifts

Relaxed man in home office with feet on desk
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The traditional 9 to 5 shift is seen to be going out of fashion with the modern workforce — well that's at least the case for those in the U.K., according to new research.

In fact, only 6 percent of Britons are seen to regularly work in the office during this specific time-frame, an online study by YouGov and commissioned by McDonald's U.K. revealed Tuesday.

The findings, which surveyed more than 4,000 adults, aged 16 and above, online, illustrated that almost 60 percent of those in full-time jobs would choose to start the working day before the clock strikes 9, so they could finish earlier. The 8 to 4 shift was seen as the most preferable, with over a third of respondents selecting this period.

With a majority of those surveyed wanting to distance themselves from the habitual work model, it appears that Britons are looking for positions that are more flexible and enable them to focus on duties that need attending to outside of the workplace. Around two thirds of those who already work on a more adaptable time-frame in fact say that this flexibility helps spur them to stay in the role for longer.

With a flexible working schedule becoming more common in the labor force, there are a number of factors that employees are in support of. More than half of those surveyed like to work in a sociable workplace, operate in a location that is easy to get to, that comes with a good salary and with the option of working shift patterns that suit them.

For many employees, it's important to work in an environment that they enjoy.
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For many employees, it's important to work in an environment that they enjoy.

"People are looking for jobs that work for them," said Paul Pomroy, McDonald's U.K. & Ireland CEO, in a statement. What these figures highlight, Pomroy acknowledged, is that in order to draw in, retain and motivate workers, companies would have to generate opportunities that "genuinely work for people whatever their age, life stage, or ambition."

"The business case is clear, as are the links to improved happiness and wellbeing — people simply don't want to work 9-5 anymore," the chief executive added.

Yet while this may all seem ideal, over a quarter of those employed said in the study that they didn't expect their organization would allow them to work flexible hours, or feel unable to ask.

"More organizations need to think about flexible working," said Peter Cheese, the CEO of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, in a statement.

"While government has a role to play in driving change across the labor market, employers also need to take charge, putting flexible working options in place and improving behaviors and attitudes towards flexible working to create a win-win for individuals and organizations."

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