Is the traditional working model of 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, still relevant in 2023? 


HR expert Martin Norris at Realise HR says: "As a recruiter, there’s no doubt in my mind that the pandemic uniquely changed perceptions and approaches to work. Post-Covid, people are more readily switching jobs and industries, moving from traditional to non-traditional roles, retiring early, and generally seeking more freedom and flexibility when it comes to work. We’ve experienced a whole cultural shift, and ‘lifestyle’ is now firmly at the top of people’s agenda. In a digitally advanced economy, how important is it that we’re at our desk 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday? Is the model still relevant in 2023?

When it comes to candidate attraction, it’s clear that employers able to provide more flexibility are better positioned to recruit top talent into their businesses. In a new study by Remote, 77% of British respondents said that having flexible working hours was their most desired ‘work perk’, with 64% interested in a four-day working week. And with candidate shortages across the board, it makes sense for businesses to look to meet this demand for more flexible working arrangements. With the right technology in place, providing more choice on how, where and when people work allows for a more distributed workforce. In turn, this gives employers access to wider and more diverse talent pools and can significantly improve their ability to recruit hard-to-fill roles.

However, despite its critics, the 9-5 model can be helpful in making a clear distinction between work and leisure time. While flexible working arrangements should provide a better work/life balance, this isn’t always the case, as flexible working can unfortunately become code for working longer, harder, and more unsociable hours. So, if you’re looking into offering flexible working, what can you do to make sure it’s a success?

Claire Mclean, CEO Founder of Realise HR, said: "We've a huge opportunity in front of us to increase our talent pool to help solve our UK skills shortage. It's important that leaders are equipped to manage remote teams effectively and have the skills to drive high team performance in this new world. We also have a massive opportunity to redesign roles so that they incorporate different working patterns and allow us to tap into a more diverse group of candidates".

Thinking about the cost-of-living crisis, businesses should also consider providing more robust contracts of employment, providing both security and flexibility to the employee, while allowing the business to operate sustainably. Historically, zero-hour contracts have allowed organisations to flex their workforce in response to customer demand, but they haven’t necessarily afforded employees with a regular income. With almost a 1/5 of employers regularly issuing zero-hour contracts to their staff, now’s the time to review contractual arrangements with employees to better increase retention rates and be more attractive to the labour market.

So, is the 9-5 working model still relevant? Yes and no. The traditional model will always have its place (and more so in certain industries) but we will continue to get the same results if we always do the same things."