The Passe Hours


With fewer companies and workplaces keeping up with the ‘9-to-5’ rule, workings hours are moving towards more flexible shifts. Kesar Majethia delves deeper into the antiquated state of the traditional 9-to-5 job

With time and technology, businesses are evolving. A company can no longer treat its workforce like mere labor for production. The corporate world has revolutionized from the autocrat-domineered production methods to an increasing number of managers adapting a ‘laissez-faire’ system, where the objectives of a project or business are shared with its employees, and the methods and processes towards achieving them are left to the will of the employee. With this change, employees are now regarded as a company’s most valuable asset. Day by day, managers are realizing that surging outputs and profits are in a positive correlation with the satisfaction of their employees. Therefore, an increasing number of businesses are gearing away from the ‘9-to-5’ paradigm, and now offer a great pool of fringe benefits to make every worker’s job more convenient, inspiring and productive. The three revolutionary initiatives have been the establishment of flexible timing facilities, the choice of working from home or remote working and revamping the nuance of a typical workplace atmosphere to make it more engaging for employees. After all, technology is leading us towards lives with nothing but virtual barriers. Read on to find out in-depth about the three most revolutionary workplace transformations that have led to the obsoletism of the 9-to-5 workplace rule.

Your dream office

Long gone are the days when getting ready for work was strenuous and missing that last train to your office seemed like doomsday. Today, the journey to your office is quite literally a hop, skip and jump one from your bedroom to your desk, or maybe even shorter! An increasing number of employees are in favor of remote working (working from home) as most of them have experienced a rise in productivity in such a method. All the time spent in unnecessary lunch hour gossip and unscheduled meetings is used effectively to finish assignments ahead of time. The engineering force of remote working is technology. The millennial workforce is already resorting to email and text message conversations, even when they’re at the workplace. Thanks to cloud computing and web conferencing, communicating with colleagues is no longer a barrier. A Skype call from the Caribbean islands will still allow you to clear doubts and continue to keep the team connected and well-informed. In fact, remote working is increasingly enabling the creation of the most exotic workplaces in the world! You could be working from a local café, from a beach or you could even be out on the streets! No longer do you have to yearn for retirement to strike destinations off your bucket list. A popular reason for employees to be attracted to remote working is that they do not have to strain through commuting anymore. Imagine beginning your day with the daily struggle of pushing your way through that last vacant seat on the train and by the time you reach the office, you start to think whether your daily hassles are worth the job. Remote working allows employees to start fresh in the morning and follow a healthier, more stress-free schedule.

Say hello to hassle-free mornings

Here’s an idea — what if there’s a job that allows you to sleep those desirable nine hours without your nagging alarm reminding you of your daily corporate prison? Wouldn’t you want to work there? Flexitime allows employees to create their own ‘9-to-5’ schedules as long as certain company requirements are met. This fringe benefit is rapidly gaining momentum amongst young workers, who prefer an informal and easygoing work environment. The tormenting 8-hour regime does nothing but drain employees of energy and the will to work. With flexible hours, employees are finding it easier to achieve a healthy work-life balance and socialize more. Flexible working hours allow workers to pursue hobbies and extra courses, which is beneficial for the employee as well as the employer in the long term. Flexitime has a variety of different options that allow all types of employees to reap the benefits. The most established and widely used option is job sharing. This option permits two workers to work half a shift, which adds up to the hours of one full-time employee. This option often requires a smooth relationship between the two workers and effective communication. The second option is for seasonal jobs in industries such as tourism and event management firms. Workers decide to work longer hours during the season and then take the equivalent time off during the off-season. This often works for employees who have other jobs or young workers who are completing their majors. The third option allows workers to work for a reduced number of hours. This option is contingent on how a worker’s output is measured. If the firms can manage to measure the output effectively, they are able to resort to a reduced number of hours. Many employers are growing comfortable with this option as workers are more engaged in their work.

The headquarters of Generation X

If we time-travel back to the late 20th century, the average corporate office was filled with a myriad of halogen lights, ivory walls and the massively noticeable difference between tiny cubicles and large corner offices. Everyone was instantly aware of their place in the social hierarchy of an organization. Fast-forward back to the 21st century, aren’t we fortunate to have the colorful and creative offices of Google and Facebook, that are the modern-day versions of Disneyland for tech geeks? Executives have realized that workplaces and offices have become much more than a ‘place to come to work’. It has become a USP for certain companies and, in some cases, even industries. Be it Google’s brightly colored campus with tennis courts, sleeping pods and the infamous Google office slide or the Infosys bowling alley, workplaces are now becoming every worker’s desired second home. To match the comfort and positive atmosphere of workplaces, numerous organizations are now conducting events and workshops for their employees to keep them motivated. For instance, the internationally acclaimed corporate social networking organization LinkedIn has been hosting ‘Bring In Your Parents’ day to connect the work lives of employees with their personal lives. Not only did this event bridge the gap between employees and their parents, but the initiative also came across as a remarkable and rewarding gesture for employees. LinkedIn is not alone; companies such as Quicken Loans offer their employees free tickets to home games as the company owns the renowned Cleveland Cavaliers. Other than events, the overall company culture is evolving as the relationships between employee and employer are becoming more casual. Some gestures have been as magnanimous as a Chinese conglomerate named TiensGroup took 6,400 employees for an all-expenses-paid vacation to France.

The occasional oblivion

There is no doubt that the workforce of this century is growing unrecognizable to the previous generation. However, amidst all of the euphoria of comfort and freedom, employees tend to forget the importance of producing quality work and working effectively as a team. It is recommended that despite remote working and flexible hours, remote workers should pay seldom visits to the office and stay connected with the physical environment of a workplace. With more fringe benefits comes more competition. Therefore, it is important to deliver your best performance regardless of supervision. By introducing these policies, managers try to show employees that they trust them, work hard to keep up their trust in your work!


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