The 9am Damage for Life

Increasingly as I hear people speak about how they are glad Christmas is approaching, and how they have holidays planned to get a longer break from work I curiously ask — what about their work makes them want to get away “so keenly” for a better word!

This is not the first time I have heard people be happy about a break for the festive season of Christmas but in general when holidays approach, many beam with delight, which is both intriguing and disturbing I find.

Many that I speak with love their jobs, they are happy, successful in their own ways and ambitious people. However a few admitted to the 9am rush or in other words the morning rush of being in the office at certain time as one of the dreadful stresses they have every morning, whilst a few others simply nod along on this being a stressful factor.

Now we all know how public transport, weather or other circumstances outside of our control can occasionally panic us, it’s natural to feel anxious and slightly stressed especially if we are going to be late for meetings or work generally. But to add this panic to every morning Monday — Friday for all those folks out there rushing to get to work for the so called “9am” start is quite serious and damaging to health in many ways.

In this study guide by Unison, it does not just address one particular i.e. rush hour stress and the need for flexible working, but on a lot of other factors that manage or help manage work/life balance.

We have all been there, and whilst some of us managed to escape this rat race most are still stuck in it as it continues to get worse with a certain dogma of being in the office at a certain time.

There is clear research that has proven that the more flexible working hours offered, the better an employee feels and delivers — this is not only beneficial for the individual but also the employer as it drives productivity through the roof.

When the stress of something so signification is added and multiplied to days, weeks and months we also see panic, lack of productivity, costs of businesses due to health issues of employees and much more multiplied to days, weeks and months. Here is a short study I read about what stress can do to our overall health and wellbeing.

Now as an individual I am of the belief that productivity has nothing to do with hours of work at all. For example Sweden’s Intriguing 6-Hour Workday Experiment by Richard Eisenberg — Jun 7, 2016 published in Forbes is an excellent study if anyone wanted to explore how productivity has very little to do with longer work hours, on the contrary in fact.

So what and why is this 9am rush still so prevalent in major industries is my bigger question. Why do organisations expect work to start at 9am, unless someone is part-time or on flexible working arrangements. Why is it not earlier or later start times to suit individuals, the nature of their work and their productive cycles?

I can understand for jobs where employees are expected to be communicating with other organisations and individuals, but I do feel there is a huge potential of re-thinking the way our mindsets are about this 9am dogma.

It is almost as if we are treated as parts of a machine that need to continue to operate in a certain way regardless of whether that is good enough for the evolving digital future we are living in.