Continuous working week, shift work, working from home… some links.

From the FT [£]:

“The decline of the “9 to 5” has been under way for decades. In 2010-11, 20 per cent of employees in the US worked more than half their hours outside the standard hours of 6am to 6pm or on weekends. A vast survey of workers across the EU in 2015 found about half worked at least one Saturday a month, almost a third worked at least one Sunday, and roughly a fifth worked at night.”

It’s an interesting set of trade-offs. Does a continuous working week mean less shift work? If so, that’s a good thing because shift work has lots of health downsides.

Also, in the medium-term, are we looking at a seismic shift away from working in the office and towards WFH? The article includes a link to an ILO-Eurofound report [pdf] on the dubious benefits of remote working where people spend more time with their families (yay! in most cases…) but end up working longer hours and have blurry boundaries between work and personal life (boo, obviously).

Lastly, it also links to French and Mexican [pdf] regulatory protections of ‘the right to disconnect’. I also notice that (in my own work) the most widely-used email client, MS Outlook, is starting to ask me if I want to delay delivery of emails that I send in the evening so that they don’t arrive in colleagues inboxes until the morning.

There’s a lot in that FT article (it also has some useful observations on the gradual rise of asynchronous working (i.e. companies not saying “everyone has to be in between 9am and 5pm”, where people are working collaboratively, often across different locations).

On a personal note, asynchronous working is a development that I was confident would happen 20+ years ago and I’ve been surprised at how slow employers have been to embrace it.

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