Working 9 to 5 – is it a way to make a living?

Working 9 to 5 – Is It a Way to Make a Living?

After spending time and resources attracting the best team to your business, your next mission is to retain them. Retention can save you a lot of money in the long term, with big firms such as Deloitte saving $41.5m in team retention turnover costs. They did this by retaining team members who would have otherwise left if flexible work arrangements were not made available to them.

The current job market is full of a workforce that no longer wants to stay in one job for more than two years. So, how do you retain them?

Offer them flexibility. In return, they will be engaged and productive, both of which are beneficial for your business. With a change of structure, instead of wanting to move, they will have the offer of flexibility that they need right at their doorstep – from flexible working hours to flexible working arrangements.

So, how else can flexibility help not only your team, but your business overall?

Increased productivity

If a team member is constantly trying to hurry out of work to avoid rush hour traffic, they have already lost ten to twenty minutes of productivity. With flexibility at your workplace, your team are in control of their time, empowering them with the choice to leave before or after rush hour, enabling them to not waste time, and not rush their last email or report.

Your business benefits from this too as you can be sure that you will be consistently delivering excellent results for your clients and customers. With time management being in the hands of your team, you allow them to choose their most productive schedule as opposed to a standard nine to five job.


Flexibility makes your team feel trusted; after all, you’re letting them take charge of a big decision about when and where they work. It is self-motivating and a reason to want to work, which makes your team more productive in general, as opposed to just turning up to work because their contract states for them to do so and sitting in their seat twiddling their thumbs.

It also gives them a sense of comfort and independence to know that you aren’t constantly watching them when they walk through the door five minutes late because they missed their bus. They know that as long as they complete their work to the best of their ability, there is no need to worry. Trust is built over time, and works both ways. Flexible working is just one way to let your team know that you have faith in them and the decisions they make.


With more flexibility, your team are happy and motivated, which is an ideal mood to be creative! They are mentally available to offer valuable contributions and think outside the box, which is extremely helpful for your business to stay ahead of your competitors.

Flexibility means giving your team the chance to work where they feel most comfortable for the task they are carrying out. This could be anywhere other than your offices; from a park, a café, or their own home. If that is where they feel like they will be able to carry out their work to the best of their ability, then why make them sit at their office desks where they won’t be able to give 100%?

Work/life choice

Work/life choice empowers an individual to focus on what is important to them at any given moment. Giving your team this choice is extremely important in allowing them to switch off every now and then and relax; whether it is some time to unwind on their own, or spending time with their family and friends. Flexibility allows them to do this perfectly, by ensuring that they get all of their work done to make it in time for the shows, concerts or flights they plan together. By restricting their ability to spend time with loved ones, their happiness will slowly decrease and with it, so will productivity and accuracy.

Reduced stress

Each team member’s mental health is key for them to be able to be productive at work, and flexible working hours is one way to ensure your team are looked after. This could be from being able to go for health check-ups, to working from home while recovering from an injury. Looking after your team will make them want to stay with you and do their very best to help your business succeed.

So now you know how flexibility can help you retain your team, how flexible is your business? Can you be more flexible?

Change your structure and see just how flexible you need to be to see an increase in productivity flood through your doors.

More reading:

I talked in the second Canny Bites book about ‘work/life choice’ in Bite 50: ‘It’s not about work/life balance, it’s about work/life choice’. I’d recommend checking this Bite out, in addition to Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, where he shares a great example of work/life choice.

Chew on this:

How flexible do you need to be to increase your businesses productivity?


Author: Safaraz Ali
My career began in the financial services sector and since 1999, I have been involved in the world of business. I am Head of Pathway Group, which is a workforce development solutions provider. Pathway Group specialise in apprenticeship training and recruitment. I also offer independent strategy, advice, and investment for a wide range of private business sector. These include: social care, education, training, and recruitment.