While “old school” may be cool when it comes to clothes, music or even cars, it is not when related to the work environment.
Technology advancements in mobile communications and cloud computing is resulting in an explosion of remote workers. Add to this a new generation entering the workforce that was raised on such technology and you have employees who aren't tied to a clock but instead allow work to bleed into personal time, as long as they are given some flexibility to determine their work schedule.
“Workers want more flexibility in their schedules, and with improvements in technology that enable employees to check in at any time, from anywhere, it makes sense to allow employees to work outside the traditional 9-to-5 schedule,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder, in a prepared statement. “Moving away from a 9-to-5 work week may not be possible for some companies (yet), but if done right, allowing employees more freedom and flexibility with their schedules can improve morale, boost productivity and increase retention rates.”
No one knows this better than solution providers, who are finding themselves supporting a workforce outside the 9-to-5 workday and outside the main office location.
A new study by CareerBuilder backs this up. According to the career site, more than two-thirds of American workers look at the eight-hour work week as a thing of the past. Even though more of them are not coming into the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week, their mobile devices are causing them to work more hours in a day.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 1,078 employees ages 18 and over (employed full time, not self-employed, non-government) in the IT, financial services, sales and professional and business services industries between May 14 and June 3, according to the CareerBuilder.
In fact, half of those surveyed claimed they check work email when they are not at work. One-third said they now work well after traditional office hours, thanks to mobile technology.
This has resulted in a workforce that does not want to be tied to traditional office hours or requirements. Companies need to understand this and allow for flexibility in their schedules if they want to attract and retain the best talent.
According to the CareerBuilder survey, one out of five people said they think about work until they fall asleep and 40 percent said they are already thinking about work when they wake up.
Today’s technology has enabled workers to communicate and access information the corporate office. Given that flexibility, workers also have proven they are willing to work well before and after the traditional workday starts, leading to a more motivated and productive workforce.
While some companies are still drawing a hard line when it comes to the traditional workday, they are finding it more difficult to attract top talent and keep them motivated. This trend is expected to continue as more Millennials enter the workforce and workers look for a better work/life balance.