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Jobs Schedules That Work – Is it Possible?

Like many people, we like to gather several times a year with extended family for a meal and a chance to catch up with each other.  The past few years, the ratio for success in getting us all together is very low but it’s not for lack of trying!

The members of my generation all have weekends off and only one of us is working daytime hours.  That is not the case for the next generation!  One of the five cousins has that type of schedule…but he’s a full time student.  The others all work weekends and evenings.

I started thinking about this after trying to arrange the last get together.  Why is it so hard?

Service Culture of Today's Jobs

As manufacturing has largely moved out of the U.S., service jobs have moved in.  There are a lot more opportunities for employment in service and retail sectors than when I was younger.

Back then, most stores were closed on Sundays and eating out was a rare treat. 

Today, I can’t think of a single retailer that is closed on Sunday and only one dining chain (Chick Fil A).  This means anyone in a service sector or retail is very likely to be working weekends, evenings and/or nights.

Two of the cousins work for the same chain of home improvement stores with unpredictable schedules. 

Another has worked a variety of retail or service sector jobs (sometimes two or three at a time) in an effort to provide for his family.  The last cousin is in emergency medical services which are of course, 7/24.

Flex Time Means Productivity?

It seems that more and more people arranging flex schedules and/or working from home.  This enables them to work around home obligations. 

It’s not just good for the employees as IBM has found employees more productive at home.

This means employees may be doing work in the evening, early hours or on weekends instead of 8-5.  Employees, and probably their families, have more satisfaction with their jobs as well.

Note from Elle on Job Schedules:

I've noticed with my own work how things have shifted a bit. Being self-employed I've created a schedule that address my clients needs and my own, but it's not 9-5.

I've adapted and broken up my day into two short periods of time instead of one continuous workday.

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Future of Traditional Jobs Vs Flexible Work

Who knows what innovation or business trend will shape the working hours in the future. 

I would imagine that mobile working with flexible hours will become mainstream. 

I wonder if the Monday through Friday job is becoming a relic of the past. Do you work traditional hours?

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11 comments add your comment

  1. Interesting post. I agree with you that flex scheduling provides more freedom, but there’s also something very unsettling about not having a “set” work schedule.

    I work at home and spend many nights and weekend time working, but if you don’t have a set schedule for when you’re working and “in the office,” you can’t separate work-time from free-time. And that’s not healthy!

  2. Well, I do my own schedule… yes and no! I try to follow up with my spouse a little so we can spend time together as much as possible. I do not have to have a Monday through Friday schedule but I end up doing it that way. I guess that if my spouse did not have a Monday to Friday schedules, things might be different. There are many advantages to work differently. I particularly like working early (starting at 7 or so) and enjoy a nice long evening. I also like doing groceries or shopping when the stores are not full packed by all the 9-5 workers who struggle with everything being done before going to bed (I truly sympathize with you guys)! Still, I noticed a lot of persons in my age (mostly 25-35) wanting to get those typical weekends back as they find it is very difficult for them to spend quality family time other way. I must admit I tend to agree with them. When kids go to school, the only time you get to make fun activities in on Saturdays and Sundays.

    • DoNotWait, being a traditional M-F employee the difficulty in working around family schedules is what made me think about this topic.

      I think for parents with school age children, flex schedules would be the ideal solution. I regret missing so many school plays and other daytime events.

      • Well, maybe the solution for most parents would indeed be a flexible schedules but with a lot of free time during the week ends. It is nice to be able to go at the daytime events of your children’ school. But it is also good spending good quality family time during the week ends when they are no many homework to do, no struggles with the supper-bath-brush your teeth-read history-have a good night-sort of thing that run out every night during the week.

  3. I currently work from 9-6, but soon I will have the option for flex-time, something I’m highly considering, especially with my commute and because I tend to have an odd working nature (I used to be a night owl and would find myself most productive between 10p-3a).

    • Briana, I’ll have to talk to you about that after you make the switch. Since that isn’t an option where I work, I just moved closer to work. This way at least it is only 3 miles away and I go home for lunch every day.

  4. I’ve noticed this same trend at my old employer as well! After being in a manufacturing plant setting for 1.5 years and moving to the company’s corporate headquarters, it seemed that people would leave early from work, but then get to working later in the night!

    One thing that sort of concerns me about this remote-working-on-one’s-own-time shift is that it makes it hard to track people down when you need to have a one-on-one in person meeting with them!

    • Jacob, we had that problem at our company. All the customer facing people worked typical daytime hours, but some of the developer and technical staff liked to work much later hours.

      A rule had to be instituted about the latest starting time so it was possible to have meetings and business discussions with the right people.

  5. I really prefer a flexible work schedule rather than something 9-5. For instance, I prefer working at 7am, and then again at 7pm or so, after I get time to run errands while there’s daylight out.

    Also, not everything comes in between 9-5. Sometimes your best ideas are at 9 pm.

    • Well, my best ideas are definitely not at 9 pm but I understand your point :). I’m a morning person so would love to work and finish earlier in the day.