Is it time to retire the 9 to 5?

Ian Clarke

Article author

Reading time: 3 min

Last updated: June 10th, 2022

Is it time to retire the 9 to 5?

"Yeah, 5 to 9 you've got passion and a vision, 

'Cause it's hustlin' time, a whole new way to make a livin”

Before COVID-19, the prevailing theory was that workers out of sight or working remotely could rarely perform at their best, or indeed ‘make a livin’. But that turned out to be a perception bias – just because certain extroverted subgroups may generally perform better under traditional ways of working, the reality for a wider workforce is far more multifaceted.

If you work in a business where ‘9-5’ has no significance beyond the hours in the day you personally prefer to be away from home, then consider allowing colleagues more say in their working hours and location. Allowing introverts to work remotely more often, or parents of young children to time their commute around the school run, is likely to generate positive returns and a newfound ‘passion and vision’. This not only develops a greater sense of inclusion through accommodation, but also sparks real productivity too.

Giving employees more of a say in when and where they work can also help them accommodate dependents whose care they are responsible for, or personal treatments for medical conditions, mental health therapies or gender reassignments that they may not wish to openly discuss with you.

Some may have friends, family or dependants in other time zones who they can only communicate with during the traditional workday. And remember that if you ban travel to Bali (for example) during a pandemic, your intention may be to prevent holidaying to a destination with plenty of viable alternatives, but the unintended consequence may be to cut off any Indonesian members of staff on your payroll from their dependents and support network - wouldn’t you call this ‘hustlin’ unnecessary and preventable?

The ‘9-5’ routine was set in an era with very little diversity, where the routines of most households were relatively consistent and predictable; we don’t need Dolly Parton to remind us of this hamster wheel that we call life. But today, the uniqueness that increasingly fills our societies and enriches our businesses requires a more flexible approach to time and location management.

Whose got more charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent - London or New York?
Whose got more charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent - London or New York?

Forget bend it like Beckham. Aerliast for The Box NYC, instructor at Brooklyn's Body and Pole and Underground Cabaret heartthrob Jacob McKee (pictured here) - like so many outstanding queer talents - has made his decision. In the lipsync battle between boardroom and stage, she done already done had herses. But who misses out more from the absence of LGBTQ+ talent in the city, and which city has LGBTQ+ talent had the biggest impact? I guess this one's a lip sync.

Creating new science: The 4 keys to discovery
Creating new science: The 4 keys to discovery

Curious minds will learn the 4 steps that allow Change Makers to make scientific discoveries, understand where paradoxes come from and see why the limits to Human Endeavour presented by our current understanding of the Laws of Physics may themselves be a binary illusion.

Women and War: Are female leaders more or less likely to take the nuclear option?
Women and War: Are female leaders more or less likely to take the nuclear option?

Curious minds will discover who's better at waging war - men or women. We take a look back in time to understand the gender dynamics affecting the battlefield and draw lessons for True Leaders on what the data tells us about the case for Gender balance in the boardroom