New research reveals staff have switched patterns since they started working from home, potentially spelling the end of the traditional 9-to-5

Is the classic 9-to-5 working day set to become a thing of the past?

Recent research has revealed that home-working is playing a big role in the rise of new shift patterns.

According to a survey by smart lighting brand 4lite, 69% of office staff are still working from home since the England lockdown ended – and there is growing evidence that people are eager to ditch their ordinary hours.

Responses from 1,000 workers showed that 43% are now shunning the 9-to-5, electing to split their hours across the day instead.

27% claimed they work longer hours at home than they would in the office. Around 20% said they started work earlier than 9am, whereas 22% finished later than 5pm.

Interestingly, the vast majority (83%) said they enjoy working from home – with two-thirds (66%) of home-workers believing they are more productive in their own environment. 57% also said their wellbeing was better, too.

However, the results also showed that some workers craved certain elements of office life. A third (34%) admitted to missing the luxuries of their workspace, whilst four in ten (43.5%) said they find it hard to de-stress while working from home. 46% admitted to being more easily distracted, and 34% said it’s more difficult to concentrate. 38% also said they found it tougher to get into the swing of the working day when they were logging on from home.

Jane Rylands, Head of Marketing for 4lite, said that adaptations need to be made in order to resolve the challenges of home-working – a trend which appears set to stay.

She stated: “Offices are designed with workers in mind and lighting is a key element, so employees are typically afforded bright spaces with appropriate illumination – your average home back bedroom, kitchen table or other impromptu home workspace is not ready-made for laptop life.

“Lighting is often overlooked, but can be a great way to help us focus and concentrate – especially if people are working early in the mornings or later into the evenings as we flex our working hours.”

Rylands explained that the installation of smart lighting – which mimics the changing patterns of the natural light outdoors – is essential to maintaining a healthy work-life balance and circadian rhythm.

She said: “Natural light changes from a warm colour in the morning, to a cooler blue during the day and then back to a warmer hue in the evening which prompts the body into knowing when it should feel awake and energised or more relaxed and ready to sleep.

“Smart lighting systems can be used to change the colour of the light emitted to mimic the pattern of natural lighting inside, enhancing health and wellbeing, or use cooler lights when we want to feel more alert and focused.

“Unwinding is also an important factor in keeping a healthy work-life balance when we’re living and working in the same space, so switching the colour temperature on a smart bulb to a warming yellow can help to rest the eyes and signal to the body that it’s time to relax.”

One veteran home-worker who is happy to see the move towards flexible hours is Anna Codrea-Rado – author of You’re The Businessand co-host of the Is This Working? podcast.

The writer stated: “Working from home offers the chance to do uninterrupted, focused work and the time saved on commuting can mean better work/life balance.

“The secret to reaping these benefits is setting boundaries.

“An overlooked place to start is setting up our spaces, which is key to overcoming distractions, feeling more comfortable and demarcating our living and working modes. From ergonomic chairs and comfortable desks to noise reduction and lighting, there are plenty of easy ways to optimise our workspaces for productivity.

“One of the best things about bringing the office into our homes is that we get to decide what it looks like. No longer at the mercy of stuffy office design, we can add personality, smart tech and comfort to our workspaces. As working from home looks set to stay, it’s important to find ways to make it work for us.”

4lite stocks a number of products designed to complement work-from-home stations, including smart bulbs with WiZ Connectivity which can be set to mimic your natural sleep-wake patterns. Brightening and dimming over the course of the day as well as changing the colour temperature of the light, these bulbs can both promote wakefulness for energy and soothe the eyes to relax the body.

For more information about the benefits of good lighting when working from home, visit the 4lite knowledge hub.

About 4lite

4lite is an industry leader in the lighting sector – built on 25 years of experience with global facilities dedicated to the best research, tools, and resources.

4lite understands the importance of having quality light in homes, gardens, and businesses and is prioritised with providing the perfect light solution for every customer.

Whether it’s smart lighting for productive home-working, pendants to set the mood at dinner, or outdoor lights next to the BBQ, 4lite has the answer.

More information is available on the 4lite website.