Should work performed after hours be considered overtime?
A new CareerBuilder survey indicates that anthems of the traditional eight-hour workday such as “9-5” and “Morning Train” may soon become as outdated as fax machines.
Six-in-ten workers in the fields of information technology, financial services, sales and professional and business services—which traditionally keep traditional work hours—believe that working nine to five is an outdated concept, while a significant number said that have a hard time leaving the office mentally, according to CareerBuilder.
More than 1,000 full-time workers participated in the survey about habits and attitudes toward the traditional nine to five workday.
Half of the surveyed workers indicate they check or respond to work emails outside of work, while 38 percent said they continue to work outside of office hours. Roughly one-fourth check work emails during activities with family and friends.
Six-in-ten consider this to be their choice rather than an obligation.
In a Spectrem Group's Millionaire Corner survey of affluent investors, 61 percent said it should be up to the employee whether they check their work email at home. Thirteen percent said such practice should not be allowed, claiming that time away from home is personal time.
Twenty percent of investors said checking email should be considered part of the job requirement for salaried positions, while 6 percent said hourly employees should be compensated for their time while checking emails at home.
“Workers want more flexibility in their schedules, and with improvements in technology that enable employees to check in at any time, from anywhere, it makes sense to allow employees to work outside the traditional nine-to-five schedule,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder, said in a statement. “Moving away from a nine-to-five work week may not be possible for some companies (yet), but if done right, allowing employees more freedom and flexibility with their schedules can improve morale, boost productivity and increase retention rates.”
Some employees don’t see it this way. In 2013, a Chicago police officer filed a lawsuit claiming that the city owed him and other officers overtime for work performed after hours on department-requisitioned BlackBerry phones. A decision has not been rendered.
Twenty percent of the participants in the CareerBuilder survey said that work is the last thing they think about before they go to bed, and more than twice as many (42 percent) say it’s the first thing they think about when they wake up. Nearly 1 in 5 of these workers (17 percent) say they have a tough time enjoying leisure activities because they are thinking about work.
This might be a guy thing. Male survey participants are more likely than female workers to work outside of office hours (44 percent versus 32 percent); check or respond to work emails outside of work (59 percent versus 42 percent); and check on work activities while they are out with friends and family (30 percent versus 18 percent).
Female workers, however, are more likely than male workers to go to bed thinking about work (23 percent versus 16 percent).
RELATED: Right or Wrong: Checking Your Work Email at Home
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.