Nine to five, Monday through Friday: How Passé
By Justin Strong, Global Senior Product Marketing Manager, Novell
Mobile devices have done more than free us from the desk: they’ve freed us from the fixed workweek too. For generations, the Monday-through-Friday, nine-to-five workweek has been the standard. But we all know the comforting nine-to-five is a thing of the past. According to a USA Today article called “Mobile destroying 8 hour work day,” mobility is, well, destroying the eight-hour work day. We insist on using our mobile device whenever we want, and as a result we’re working much more often.
But maybe not at the same times we once did. Mobile devices are beginning to redefine the way we look at the days of the week. Thursday might just be the new Friday.
When looking at Google Adwords results recently, there was a noticeable clear decrease in clicks starting Friday, but an increase starting on Sunday. It looks like we’re getting off a little early (or just checking out mentally) on Friday, but logging back in on Sunday to prepare for the week. It turns out Google search traffic seems to indicate the same thing.
Desktop traffic starts picking back up on Sunday, not Monday, as you might expect. More significantly, Sunday traffic appears at about the same level as Friday.
Of course Google traffic is not all work related, but some of us are clearly logging back in and tackling work duties on Sunday. A look at mobile search traffic for Google shows that it runs in the opposite direction and peaks over the weekend.
Mobility lets everyone everywhere get online on Sundays, and because of that, whatever the device, we’re getting back to work a little earlier. As Bob Jones, a program manager at a distribution company in Chicago told BusinessWeek, “I work every weekend, usually Sunday nights.”
If working Sunday night sounds terrible to you, remember that it can be the flip side of getting off early Friday for a game of golf or a round of drinks at happy hour. Besides, working Sunday might not be all bad. Some folks even recommend it. You’ll not only get a jump on your work week, you’ll be available on Friday to get to banks and other businesses that are never open on weekends. For families juggling child care, having one family member off on Friday could save a lot of money as well.
But the important thing isn’t really whether you work Sunday (or Monday, or Wednesday). It’s that the old nine-to-five, Monday-through-Friday expectations are slipping away. Now you can show up when you decide your job needs you and work when you are most productive. For generations, employees have been trying to get more control over their work environment. Now we have it.
So, if we’re doing it anyway, maybe we should make it official: The workweek starts and ends when you say it does. The only question left is how long it will take before someone says “I’ve got a case of the Sundays.”
How are you working these days? Do you find yourself logging in on Sunday nights? What’s next for the American workweek? Let us know what you think.