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Monday, October 3, 2022

Opinion

Nine to five work culture needs to end


Nine to five work culture needs to end

Santiago Gaughan/The Cougar

Many people are finding that working nine hours a day, five days a week is not a fulfilling life to live. When working nine to five, people are living to work, not working to live. There needs to be a reconstruction of America’s working hours that reflects the shift in employees’ needs. 

People have already been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic. Despite this massive change, the hours at one’s job have stayed the same. 

Working long hours contributes to stress, inadequate sleep and lower productivity. Working as many hours as a nine to five job requires does not allow sufficient flexibility. This forces employees to prioritize work over free time or risk losing their jobs.

“I don’t like (the nine to five workday),” said public relations freshman Alexia Aguilar. “I feel like there should be more flexibility with the workday as it causes a lot of issues.” 

Many people, especially young people like Aguilar, are realizing they do not want to spend their lives working for a job that limits their freedom and has more control over their lives than they do. 

During the pandemic, people were able to work from home, but many employees had to deal with managers looking over them to make sure they were getting the work done. In fact, there was an 87 percent increase in the creation of monitoring apps like ActivTrak, Hubstaff and Interguard, which all have varying degrees of surveillance techniques like taking snapshots of employees’ screens and saving search history.

The micro-managing of employees is not helpful to their productivity nor does it make them enjoy their work. It does the exact opposite. About 70-85 percent of workers have said their job performance and morale were negatively affected by micromanagement. 

On the other hand, a small project called STAR was created by the company Results-Only Work Environment to test how well employees performed with little to no interference from management. This includes choosing where, when and how their employees decided to work. It led to amazing results.

After six months, the employees were happier with their work, experienced less burnout and their production skyrocketed. 

With that in mind, employees thrive when they are allowed to make decisions over different aspects of their work that are traditionally decided by their managers. The freedom employees get when they decide when to get their work done also allows them to have time to do other things that make them happy.

Once employees no longer have to sacrifice living life for their work, the working culture in America can no longer be deemed one of the most stressful in the world. It’s time to change the nine to five workday. 

Cindy Rivas Alfaro is a journalism freshman who can be reached at [email protected]

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