86ing the 9 to 5: The Cons of a 9 to 5 Lifestyle

The Cons of a 9 to 5 Lifestyle

For most professionals, the nine-to-five beat is the only way forward in the world of work. But what if it didn’t have to be?  

The nine-to-five can leave you waking early and leaving work after most banks and other businesses have already closed. Working the same schedule everyday may feel like a dream to some routine-loving employees, but for others, it’s stifling. 

Employees deserve to have some control over their lives and schedule. If the nine-to-five isn’t fitting that bill for your lifestyle, then you’re not alone.

Ditching the 9 to 5 grind

After reading through the list of cons below, you might be ready to turn in your two weeks’ at your office job.

You’ll need to find a source of income that can replace what you make at your current job. The difference this time is that the new career you choose will give you much greater flexibility. 

You might be surprised to learn just how many career opportunities will grant you that degree of freedom. Those who want this kind of work could become web developers or freelancers. Flexibility-first employees should also apply for home care jobs for the ultimate schedule liberation. As a caregiver, care taking industry hopefuls can take time off as needed, without draining their PTO banks.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which professional route you choose, as long as it helps you escape these common detriments of the nine-to-fiver. 

If you’re ready to say game point to the forty hour work week, here are some additional cons that might tip the scales. 

The 9 to 5 lifestyle is not the most productive

Since the nine to five is perhaps the most common work schedule that people follow, it is reasonable to assume that it is also the most productive way to work. However, there is no evidence to suggest that’s the case.

While countless workers spend eight hours per day at their jobs, that does not mean that they are productive during all of those hours. 

Some studies show that the average worker is productive for less than three hours each day. That essentially means that the rest of the day’s work is either unneeded or nonessential, even though the employee must remain at work for a total of eight hours. 

A 9 to 5 job often leads to boredom

This downside to the nine-to-five is one that many people know too well. Simply put, the nine-to-five lifestyle is boring. Even if you find a job that you are passionate about and initially look forward to performing, the humdrum schedule has an astounding ability to make that work feel mundane. 

Unfortunately, these feelings of boredom are not likely to subside with time. What is more likely is that as you continue to adhere to the forty-hour week, your boredom will increase. This increase is because a regular schedule can quickly become too rigid, making workers feel more like machines than human beings. 

The 9 to 5 enforces rigid workplace hierarchies

Some of the cons of this working style are a bit subtler than others. For example, one such con is that the nine-to-five acts to reinforce hierarchies and power dynamics in the workplace. 

Most workers will have little to no say regarding what hours they work. This powerlessness can lead to them feeling a lack of agency in their working lives. 

Meanwhile, personal control over scheduling is often a privilege reserved for those higher up in a company. While there are some valid reasons to maintain such hierarchies, the nine-to-five can instill resentment between those who don’t control their time and those who do. 

The 9 to 5 gives you little control over your income

In many instances, nine to five employees will work for an hourly wage. That means employees will know exactly how much they will make for the hours they work each day. 

While that degree of predictability can be reassuring for some, it also means that each worker has very little chance to influence how much they make based on their effort. 

By contrast, those who work as freelancers or own their own businesses will usually see an uptick in income as a direct result of the increased effort that they put out. This uptick can lead to some unpredictability, but it also grants individuals greater control over how much their time can be worth. 

The 9 to 5 promotes poor physical health

Most of the cons relevant to the nine-to-five relate to income and the worker’s mental wellbeing. However, there is another con to this lifestyle that may be less recognizable. While the nine-to-five wears on a worker mentally, it simultaneously harms their physical health. 

As noted earlier, the forty-hour week can lead to a lot of wasted time during each workday. If you spend that time in a typical office, you’re likely sitting during most of it. 

Such a setting leads to a sedentary lifestyle that can contribute to a wide range of health issues. So if you care about both your mental and physical wellness, leaving a chair-warming job is an excellent place to start. 

Wrap up

If you have thought about escaping the nine-to-five in favor of something better, there have never been more reasons to do so. Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed many ways we view work and time in this country. Reduced hours and increased work from home packages are just a few of the ways workers realize that nine-to-five isn’t the end-all-be-all for professionals. 

By exploring some of the flexible career options out there, you can deep-six the forty-hour, nine-to-five lifestyle for good.