61% of US workers think the 9-to-5 workday is a dinosaur
- In a CareerBuilder poll of 3,696 full-time U.S. employees, 61% of the respondents think the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule is outdated.
- Survey responses were analyzed by city, with the highest number of workers favoring flexible work schedules in Washington, D.C. (73%), Boston and Los Angeles (both 68%), and New York (66%).
- Respondents ages 45 to 54 (68%) were more likely to think the 9-to-5 schedule has "seen its day," followed by those who were 55 and older (64%). Young respondents ages 18 to 24 (45%) were the least likely to view the traditional work schedule as outmoded, according to the survey.
An interesting finding in the survey was the percentage of respondents who worked well beyond the standard eight-hour day. Those from Boston and Dallas (both 54%) were more likely to work extended hours than all respondents.
Studies show that remote workers often put in longer workdays than they would if they were in the office — most are salaried and not paid overtime. Employers who strive to engage workers and help them avoid burnout should discourage excessive work hours for all personnel, and review goals and assignments that might need adjusting.
Tracking the work hours of employees on varied schedules could be a challenge for managers and supervisors. First, employers must know if hourly employees are working overtime to comply with wage and hour laws. Second, employers can use GPS technology and cell phone apps to track workers' hours, but HR must be careful about tracking workers' time off the clock, lest they create the possibility for a privacy violation.
Regardless of the large number of people who prefer flexible work schedules, remote work isn't for everyone. Some workers need structure, which remote work might not provide, and others have trouble managing work without direct supervision. Managers — with HR's backing — shouldn't hesitate to return some workers to a 9-to-5 schedule if their performance and/or the quality of their work slips.