Are you thrilled about 8-hour work days? How productive and fulfilling are these? You may be committed in the corporate world, remotely, or even as self-employed. Read my blog for more on the topic.
I’m a self-improvement blogger. I also have other professional activities in my home office. In other words, I have the freedom to adjust my schedule as I please.
I used to be in action in corporate jobs from 9 to 5. When I compare my present activities to when I was an employee, there’s a difference. Reading about research from trusted sources gives me a representative view of things.
I strongly support good self-care, no burnout, and enjoying life. My current practice is around 4 to 5 hours daily. I even go for a 4-day week when required, catering to personal needs.
Now, let’s dive right into it.
What history says
Operating from nine to five is prevalent in many countries.
‘An eight-hour work day has its origins in the 16th century Spain, but the modern movement dates back to the Industrial Revolution in Britain, where industrial production in large factories transformed working life’. – Read more on Wikipedia
Over the years, we’ve seen newer industries. New skills have also emerged. Briefly said, much can be accomplished without being present from 9 to 5 on the company’s premises.
The US is known to have a significant percentage of freelancers. Other countries also benefit from such services. Platforms such as Fiverr have flourished for years.
In the post-pandemic times, telecommuting has bloomed around the world. Many people have had a taste of telecommuting. Return to the office is often despised. While some welcome it, others repel it.
This article from BBC article highlights how companies are doubling down on remote work.
Hybrid approaches are also interesting. This may involve some occasions at the company office and some from home. A World Economic Forum article explains the optimal balance between in-person and telecommuting.
Those on the management side may find it difficult to monitor their staff. An employer can benefit from lower rent expenses, among other financial advantages. However, there are other reasons why some companies may want employees to return to full-time at the office.
It happens that certain may prefer to be at the office all the time. Young recruits who just graduated may find it hard to cope without much guidance at home. Some personality types may find it boring or stifling not to meet people. In certain industries and for front-line staff, there is no option but to be present at all times.
The 40-hour week may not be the best. Why the 8-hour workday doesn’t work?
When it comes to performance, techniques such as Pomodoro are handy. It’s one of the many methods that can help to engage more effectively.
‘The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It uses a kitchen timer to break work into intervals, typically 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.’ – Read more on Wikipedia.
Enjoying proper lunch, taking regular breaks, and self-care are all vital habits. These support better vitality, and in turn, better productivity. You can’t give your best if you don’t feel your best.
Focus is crucial. Being active on your desktop or with paper documents. A fresh mind and no eyestrain contribute to better performance.
Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Have a life outside of your profession. A harmonious lifestyle is something that many strive for.
When you operate from a home office, you save many minutes with no commute. It helps to instead optimize having a better morning routine. Family care, child care, or elderly care is also easier.
You may be self-employed. If so, this means more flexibility to set your agenda. On the other hand, if you’re employed and operating remotely, you’re likely to have some obligations. In either case, not having to commute is an advantage.
Home office bliss
I have a nice dedicated space at home. My office is decluttered and minimalistic. Through my window, I admire my lovely garden. There’s plenty of natural light and good air ventilation.
I block out distractions. My close ones know that I’ll be available for urgent matters. Having some light music helps my focus.
Freelancers are self-employed. They can manage their schedule and often have various clients. They have to keep finding new projects to add to their portfolio.
I’ve had experience in the sales and marketing field. Choosing when to prospect, as I wish. Following up on clients for closing sales as well.
As long as you have desired results (meet or exceed targets), you may go at your pace. Put in less than 8 hours a day. Less than 5 days a week. It’s your choice.
Similar to freelancers, bloggers can have much freedom. Some part-time bloggers may have permanent jobs. Those at full-time could even make interesting income levels.
Mostly on social media, these tend to be TikTokers and Instagrammers. It’s fun and allows monetization too. Travel, glamour, innovation, and creativity, are a few of the perks.
Often women end up leaving their jobs when they give birth. They may also have been made redundant. Mompreneurs balance their role as mothers and entrepreneurs. They get the best of both worlds.
I once started an online shop. It was a home shopping website for home decor items, fancy jewelry, and more. Operating through the internet, I also managed to spend less than 8 hours daily.
I outsourced some key activities that had to be done by specialists. 2 examples are delivery and graphic designing. It was a good experience and I learned much.
There are productivity, mindfulness, business, blogging, and many more types of coaches. They can serve from their abode. Meetings with clients can easily be arranged through Zoom calls. It’s their choice to spend durations as they require or desire.
There indeed is a need to find more relevant hours. The duration can be shorter in many cases. However, quality results must also be ensured.
In the types of activities that I listed, you’re free to choose your schedule. Putting in 8 hours, less, or more is up to you. To prevent burnout, clock out when required, though!
I started this article by briefly going through history. Then, I moved on to show how in the contemporary period, much has changed. Not everyone feels that they want to abide by strict schedules. Do you agree that 8-hour workdays are too long?