The days of punching in at 9 a.m., putting in a solid day’s work, punching out at 5 p.m., and barely even thinking about the office until punching in again the next morning may soon be a thing of the past. In fact, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder, for many workers, it already is.
The survey focused on more than 1,000 full-time workers in information technology, financial services, sales, and professional and business services – all industries historically tied to the 9-to-5 schedule – and found that 63 percent of workers in those industries believe “working nine to five” is an outdated concept.
This shift is due in no small part to the modern “always connected” culture. Half of all workers in these industries say they check or respond to work emails outside of work, and 24 percent do so during activities with family and friends.
Additionally, 38 percent of these workers say they continue to work outside of required office hours. However, this uptick in hours spent at work may not be as bad as it sounds. Of that group, most (62 percent) see the constant connection to the office as a choice rather than an obligation.
Work on the brain
Still, many workers would have difficulty disconnecting even if they wanted to.
Twenty percent of workers in these industries say that work is the last thing they think about before they go to bed, and 42 percent say it’s the first thing they think about when they wake up. Additionally, 17 percent say they have a tough time enjoying leisure activities because they are thinking about work.
A guy thing
For the most part, this trend is more prevalent among men than women. Forty-four percent of male workers in these fields work outside office hours, compared to 32 percent of female workers. Additionally, male workers are more likely than female workers to check or respond to work emails outside of work (59 percent compared to 42 percent); and check on work activities while they are out with friends and family (30 percent compared to 18 percent).
However, the survey also found that female workers are more likely than male workers to go to bed thinking about work (23 percent versus 16 percent).
The lengthening workday is impacting workers across generations – though not always in the same way. Younger workers are less likely to work outside of office hours – 31 percent of workers ages 18 to 24 compared to 50 percent of those ages 45 to 54 and 38 percent of workers ages 55 and above – but they are more likely to stay connected digitally. The survey found that 52 percent of workers ages 18- to 24 check or respond to work emails outside of work, versus 46 percent of workers ages 55 and above.
Younger workers in these fields are also more likely than older workers to think about work before going to bed (31 percent of workers ages 18-24 versus 11 percent of workers ages 55 and above), or wake up thinking about work (59 percent versus 31 percent).