Working 9 to 5 21:28, December 20, 2016

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Working 9 to 5

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According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, nearly 3 in 5 workers (59%) think that the traditional 9 to 5 work day is “a thing of the past.”

The Harris poll found that 45% of workers complete work outside office hours, and 49% check or answer emails when they’re not at work.

Your willingness to perform work outside traditional office hours may depend on whether the term “9 to 5” makes you think of Dolly Parton, Millencolin, or Willis.

The poll results showed that workers who are 55 and older are less likely than younger workers to work outside the traditional 8-hour day: 60% of older workers say that they don’t keep working outside office hours, and 54% say they don’t check/respond to emails. For workers in the 18 to 24 age group, the numbers were 52% and 41%, respectively.

Rosemary Haefner, Chief Human Resources Officer for CareerBuilder, said that the results show that “younger workers ‘attached to their mobile devices’ are more likely to work and check emails past business hours, while older workers feel less pressure to check-in after they have put in a full day of work.”

Long hours can cause problems for employees and employers. For employees, working long hours can be bad for morale and may lead to a higher risk of strokes and other health-related problems like diabetes and cancer, especially for women.

And according to the Harvard Business Review, overwork is also bad for an organization’s bottom line because it results in absenteeism, turnover, and rising insurance costs.

Employers can have a hard time keeping track of employees’ work outside regular office hours. They don’t need to worry about keeping track of exempt employees’ time, but non-exempt employees must be paid for the work they do, even if the employer didn’t authorize overtime. And when the new DOL overtime regulations take effect December 1, 2016, employers may decide to classify some currently exempt employees as non-exempt. Then employers will have to track their time. [Update: On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas blocked the overtime rule from taking effect on December 1, 2016.]

Employers can create a healthy corporate culture that eliminates the need for employees to work so many hours outside the office. For instance, some organizations shut down email servers or ban hourly staff from checking email during off hours. Employers can also consult with their employees to find out why employees are working long hours, and what can be done to change that.

Employers and employees can work together to create a workplace that supports an organization’s goals, protects its employees, and creates a culture of compliance. This case study on Namely shows how one company combined growth and culture with training. To learn more, visit us at Law Room.com.

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Christine Day
Christine Day is a legal editor at EverFi. She writes about employment law issues and tracks case law and legislative and regulatory updates. Before joining EverFi she worked in legal publishing, researching and writing about tax law, business law, and employment law. She earned her JD from the University of San Diego Law School and her BA from the University of Southern California.

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