Has 9 to 5 Office Culture been Consigned to History?

7 min

🎶 Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living 🎶

An 80s anthem that speaks to all office workers. An already ageing sentiment that now feels like it’s from a different age entirely. We are at a pivotal point; if we will ever go back to the 9-5 office culture or if we are entering a world of true agile working.

I work in Armstrong Craven’s Insight & Talent Analytics team, gathering primary insight. This requires daily conversations with key talent and business leaders around the world. Since March, everyone I have spoken with, regardless of sector, level of seniority and geography has talked about how remote working has impacted them and what they would like to remain in place going forward. In response, businesses are considering a number of key questions:

  • Should we be going back to a traditional office culture?
  • How can I hold onto my talent whilst remote working?
  • What can I do to better the position of my company?

How companies have handled the Pandemic

The majority of employers have asked everyone who can work from home to do so. The infrastructure for remote teams has meant investment in technology for home offices and training. The most highly-rated companies have monitored employees' feelings, showing empathy and keeping them informed.
“I feel lucky to work here as the company has been very supportive to everyone and has gone above and beyond to ensure everyone feels safe, and those furloughed have been really looked after. From what I have heard from friends, not all companies have been this good.” 

Customer Experience Manager, Manufacturing, UK

Very few businesses are advising their staff to return to the office. But inside those businesses that are, sentiment towards their employers is negative: 

“It shows that [the company] is not progressive and does not care about its employees’ convenience or wellbeing”. 

CRM Manager, Retail, UK

What People Want Going Forward

Over 80% of people I have spoken with would like a mix of office and remote working in the future. For those that previously did not like working from home, there has been a definite shift in belief as people can now see the benefits, however, most people also want time in the office. Respondents have acknowledged the pros and cons of both, which is why a blend of the two is preferred:

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