The Creative Day – are we really productive for a full 8 hours in a day?


The Creative Day – are we really productive for a full 8 hours in a day?

I have seen lots of posts over the last few months providing an argument that working the standard 8 hours from 9am to 5pm is actually not productive.

Lots of creative companies out there are now switching to remote working or freelancers to provide resource in their agencies.

Freelancers can work within budget and time frames but don’t work regular hours meaning they can work when they want or have to.

Other countries are looking into 6 hour days to capture those key productive hours and give employees more free time in the day.

So where does the the whole 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week come from?

The original 8 hour day

So the original 8 hour working day was implemented in the early 1900’s and was purely a way of increasing productivity within the factory of The FORD Motor Company this was a movement away from long tiresome days of 10 working hours and for some 16 working hours.

The long hours worked during the industrial revolution was forced upon employees to try and meet the goal of keeping a factory production 24/7, but after many years some decided that this was not an acceptable and productive way to work.

Some good information on this can be found in the post – The Origin of the 8 Hour Work Day and Why We Should Rethink It (The Huffington Post – Updated Nov 22, 2016).

So Should we now Change?

We now have so many ways to work and communicate so do we need to stay in one place to carry out the work required?

Large corporations have been experimenting with this for some time now by letting people work from home, being mobile or on the road employees. But there are other more creative minds out there who feel that the whole mix of technology is what can smash the norm of the 8 hour working day.

Working long hours in one place can be bad for your health, due to sitting in the same position, looking at a screen for long periods and generally not getting any of that fresh air and daylight your body yearns for.

The 6 hour day

Some European countries have experimented with the 6 hour working day and have found that the productivity is equal to that of a 8 hour day.

Just think you rush to get to work for 9am though you possibly don’t settle in to productive work until around 9:30am or in some cases 10am.

Then your work tails off towards lunchtime or the end of the day so why not end the working day at 4pm when all creativity has been exhausted.

This would create a 10am till 4pm working day which not only could focus your time into more productive hours but enables you to be more active before and after work to energise your body.

Work when you want!

The WordPress.com company Automattic believe that the work on there projects should be free ranging and they trust their employees to work remotely all around the world using technology to stay connected and meetups every now and then to bring the team together.

Not only this but they have an open holiday policy where there is just no cap on holiday, you can take what you need as they feel you should have as much time as you need to spend with family and friends.

This is definitely the extreme end of working your own hours and on working when productive.

Remote working… are you really working?

Everyone has had that thought in their head when a colleague calls in or takes time out of the office and says “I’m working from home today”, the immediate thought that pops into your mind is what a load of crap I bet they are out in town shopping or grabbing a coffee.

Well what if they are? they may have started work at 08:00 and already clocked up 2 hours work before 10:00 thats given them an hour head start on the office.

What about distractions? some people work in certain ways and are less productive in an office atmosphere I personally can double my production when I work from home and can possible do a days work in 5 hours without the distractions of the office.

That may sound like its not half but just take into account the time commuting which in my case is 30 minutes and another 45 minutes for getting ready in the morning and you are now 15 minutes off a 10 hour day.

Hang on a minute…..! am I working nearly 10 hours a day?

So as I mentioned above I just figured in the amount of time for travel to and from work and getting ready which amounted to 9 hours and 45 minutes are we stepping back in to the 1800’s?

So not only are we more productive when we work from home but we can also be more relaxed, have the need to travel less and we can leave our desk and break up our day in ways we couldn’t when stuck in an office.

Lets start a revolution on working hours and try to work more flexible, productive and creative.