A New Era for the Workplace
From outdoor seating and QR code menus at restaurants, to workleisure attire and hybrid work schedules, the pandemic has changed the way day-to-day life looks.
What about your workday schedule? Do you continue to clock in and out from 9-5, or do you split your workday up in segments?
At Center 615, we noticed a change in preferred working hours among our members. Pre-pandemic, most Fridays we would see a majority of Center 615 members come into the office. Recently, however, Fridays tend to melt into the weekend with far less work-related activity.
Even our very own team has adopted the hybrid work approach.
Flexible Work Hours and Burning the Midnight Oil
Thankfully, Center 615’s approach to a progressive workplace with an emphasis on flexibility and autonomy lends itself to those who would rather work the graveyard shift at the office after they tuck their kids into bed. This way, they don’t miss out on the treasured moments with their kids after the school day. With 24-hour keycard access to our buildings, Center 615 members choose to work whenever it works for them.
Outside of our own observations, Microsoft and New York Times published commentary on how we may never see the typical 9-5 workweek again. (Dolly would be proud?)
The Microsoft article, “Rise of the Triple Peak Day”, uncovers a new wave of working hours, according to keyboard activity on Microsoft Teams. Pre-pandemic, there were two peak productivity times—pre- and post-lunch. However, since hybrid and remote work continue to increase, workers have more autonomy with their schedules. The result: a third peak between 6PM and 8PM (I vote to call this the Sunset Peak).
Reasons for this new peak include a rise in flexible hours, new personal responsibilities as a result of the pandemic (for example, caregivers), and collaboration across time zones. The third peak also works well for people who care for their children after school and wait for peace and quiet once the kids are asleep.
Some workers, though, still opt for the traditional 9-5. According to Microsoft’s research, measured keyboard activity indicates that the third peak remains less popular and less intense than the first two peaks in the workday.
However, no two workers are identical. Each has their own needs and their own ideal workflow. With this new rise, managers, supervisors, and employers need to prioritize open and clear communication to let their employees comfortably express their needs.
Remote Work Options and the “4-Hour Workweek”
Interestingly, New York Times best-seller Tim Ferriss encouraged workers to take control of their own workflow and schedules back in 2007. Cal Newport wrote an article for the NYT, called “Revisiting the ‘4-Hour Workweek’” to dive into how Tim Ferriss’s ideas are more relevant now than they were at the time he published his book.
Ferriss’s claim to fame is that if you whittle down your work tasks to just the ones that are absolutely necessary and not simply busywork, then you’d be left with a 4-hour workweek.
Newport notes, “’The 4-Hour Workweek’ pointed out that a lot of this exciting busyness was nonsense. If you concentrated on the efforts that actually mattered, your professional contributions could be compressed into a handful of efficiently planned weekly hours. The rest was just for show.”
In addition to analyzing what workload actually mattered, Ferriss also encourages the idea of remote work to allow workers to choose their most preferred workplace location. However, only recently have workers opened their eyes to the true possibility of remote work.
So why and how did Ferriss radicalize the way we view work? He found himself burnt out trying to build a one-man company that failed to live up to his goals. Stuck in a cyclic grind, he threw caution to the wind and re-evaluated exactly how much of his time he should spend working. Finding success and wowing audiences with his “grind-breaking” ideas, Ferriss published his thoughts and quickly became known, not for his flexible work life, but for his productivity hacks. He was a man before his time. His readership was not ready to accept that they should be working fewer hours and outside the office building. The hustle culture was still too strong.
Popularity of Ferriss’s proposed workstyle would only gain popularity over a decade after Ferriss’s book hit the shelves—once a majority of the world was forced to work remotely and take a hard look at how much of their working hours were of practical value. As a result, we were forced to embrace the remote work learning curve mid-pandemic lockdown.
Had we embraced Ferriss’s ideas sooner, would we have had a smoother time working from home while on lockdown? Though, perhaps only a worldwide pandemic could open the minds of top executives and small business owners alike to the idea of letting employees discover their personal optimal workplace environment.
Autonomy for Work Hours and Workplace
Regardless, we see a new rise of coworking; workers now more than ever choose where, how, and when they work. Many coworking spaces, like us, have 24/7 keycard access to allow anyone the opportunity to squeeze in a third work peak after dinner or to clock in and out before morning and evening rush hour. And Center 615’s coworking options allow nomads to try out Nashville commitment free.
How has the way your workweek looks shifted since the pandemic?
If you’re in the Nashville area and want to abandon WFH for a day, we offer Day Passes to our coworking space. (Because you only need to be behind your computer for 4 hours a week, right?)
Reach out to reserve your coworking Day Pass today, or schedule your tour to see other ways we can help you find your optimal workplace.