9 to 5 Culture

Staggered Work Hours

Who came up with the brilliant notion that there is a standard set of business hours from which we should all operate? 9 to 5. Everyone works from 9 to 5 (at least in the commercial sector, this is when most businesses are open.) But this is also the case with many companies that could very easily have different hours. There is one big problem with the 9 to 5 thing. It makes no sense.

Doctors, Psychologists and Dentists, Oh My!

In order to go see your favorite shrink, you’d better prepare to take at least 2 hours off from your work day. Same thing if you want to get a passport renewed: most city offices are only open during the 9 to 5 weekday hour system. Didn’t anybody ever stop and think, “This system is completely dumb. When we are all done with work for the day, or the week and need to take care of some of these appointments, all the offices are closed!”

I heard a story of an independent relationship psychologist who set his hours late at night (like after 11pm) and became incredibly successful. Seems like a simple thing on the surface. Set hours when people are not working and will have actual time to come in and see you, make a fortune and many people happy. More businesses need to take advantage of this. I want to see a dentist on Sunday, not miss half of Thursday to sneak in and out of work. Why do no dentists operate on Sunday? I don’t work on Sunday. It would be easy.

The Staggered Hours System

Many businesses are waking up to the idiocy of the 9 to 5 and opting for slightly alternative hours. 7 to 3 is one system that works, as is 11 to 7. Personally I would not like to work 11 to 7, because it would really be hard getting home at almost 8pm every day when the sun is down! But 7 to 3 sounds nice. There are MANY advantages to this system if it became widespread. Here are just a few:

  • Greatly reduces the volume of cars on the road and destroys rush hour
  • People can make appointments without missing work
  • Allows people to set their own hours more readily
  • Gives business owners more options
  • Encourages early rising for people who are early risers and sleeping in for people who don’t like mornings

Sounds like a healthier society, doesn’t it?


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