The world witnessed a historic shift in the job market due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Remote working or the ability to work from home is no longer a perk, but the norm. The rise of remote work debunked the 'one size fit all' work hours of 9-5.
A standardized work hours does not cater for efficiency or productivity. In fact, most people who transitioned over to remote working reported stable or even increased productivity levels. The flexibility of setting their own work hours not only allows for a better maintained work-life balance but a more energized and focused work rate.
The hours when an employee works the most productive is a highly individual one involving a plethora of factors such as genes, lifestyle, personality type, and even brain chemistry. A chronotype is a classification system of an individual's biological clock which determines the natural inclination of sleep and wakefulness.
Sleep and wakefulness are crucial prerequisites for cognitive efficiency, dictating when you're most active and productive. When workers are able to adjust their work schedule to align with their chronotype it can boost productivity by tapping into their natural disposition of focus and alertness. Work hours which cater to a worker's chronotype and personal sleep schedule permits a more comfortable, quality sleep: resulting in elevated moods and well rested-ness which feed into productivity.
Compressed Work hours
In 1926, Henry Ford first introduced the 40-hour work week as he learned that working more yielded only a small increase in productivity that lasted a short period of time. He made obsolete the 12 hour shift for 8 hour shifts, which sharpened focus and increased productivity in workers who now had fewer hours to complete tasks.
Remote workers with flexible work schedules report working fewer hours. The hours on the job averaged about 32 per week, compared with 36 pre-pandemic. Although their work hours varied from traditional work hours, with a flexible work schedule, they were able to do more work in the same period of time.
The trend of remote work isn't expected to end any time soon - Surveys predict that 70% of the workforce will be working remotely by 2025. The expected continuation of the flexible work hours of Remote work disproves the myth of a one size fit all work hour.