It’s time for a change in the daily grind and the normal work week.
The 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work day was not created with science in mind, yet people all over America think of it as the norm for stable jobs. These working hours were implemented during the industrial revolution to allow factories to run more efficiently. That’s right — not for the health of the working class, or really for our benefit at all.
Since then, these working hours have become associated with having a stable job and a proper income. I don’t think that working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for five days a week is healthy for the human body, both mentally and physically.
Sitting in an office chair and staring at a computer for eight hours a day is not really what the doctor recommended. The only break many people get from their stationary day is lunch, and with the trend of trying to be healthy and save money, people bring their lunch to work. This almost eliminates any need for movement, ensuring a nice butt crevice in your work chair tailored specifically for you.
Burning calories pretty much ceases; the circulation of blood in your legs goes down, correlating with a higher risk of blood clots and varicose veins; joints begin to ache from lack of movement, and your neck and back become sore from the hunched-over position so many of us take.
With all of these problems that sitting for eight hours a day creates, when do we have time to go to the doctor? We don’t. Going to the doctor requires taking time out of the work day so that you can squeeze into the doctor’s office during their work hours. I think that this alone promotes an unhealthy lifestyle because it pretty much discourages doctor’s appointments and anything else that requires time away from your desk.
Another issue I have with the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. grind is that those hours are not necessarily peak hours of productivity for everyone. Forcing people to work when they are feeling sluggish or need a change of scenery certainly affects the level of efficiency of an office.
I’m sure that many students can attest that their highest point of productivity is not always during “regular” business hours. Some people do their best work immediately after waking up, or at three in the morning. We cannot expect the best work out of everyone without a tailored work day.
In my opinion, reaching goals should be more important than putting in the time. Workplaces should be more flexible with when and where employees are allowed to work. I think that doing this would generate a huge increase in overall happiness and productivity of an office. Efficiency would probably also see a huge spike.
If you were allowed to work during the time that you feel most awake and ready to work, there would be no struggle to keep going and more goals would probably be reached in less time.
So many workers take their work home with them anyway, so why not just allow for work at home and a shorter day in the office?
It would require discipline, but I think it should be done.
One last thing that bothers me about the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work day is that commute is not factored in.
Many people end up traveling an hour or longer on a daily basis to their jobs.
This is an hour or more of being in the work mindset without actually getting anything done.
People show up to work already tired because they had to wake up three hours earlier just to be on time.
This working norm that has been created in America is just not healthy and it’s not productive.
It’s not about the money made: It’s about the blows to our health that need to be addressed.
Unfortunately, I do not foresee a change in the near future of the mindset of employers or employees to really make a change.
Until then, we’ll all hold on to our ‘I hate Mondays’ coffee mugs and cherish our measly week or two of vacation time.