The 9-5 Workday, Productivity and New Implications for Recruitment

0

The intensity and length of the COVID-19 pandemic thus far have undoubtedly taken a toll on everybody in all facets of their human capacity. Pandemic exhaustion differs from the general feeling of tiredness – there is a deep and perpetual depletion in energy regarding being indoors, being careful and being scared. A common observation in the conversation of “the new normal” and practices thereof is the idea of remote work and its implications for organisations and, ultimately, the 9-5 workday.

A momentous challenge that organisations and several professionals faced in 2020 was how they were expected to work. Professionals worldwide made swift changes to videotelephony while parenting and accepting the restrictions of business travel. It was in this climate that they had to maintain a high level of productivity. Much attention has been given to remote work and its impact on the 9-5 workday, and perhaps not enough to the intersectionality of the impact on one’s career, the recruitment process, and the organisation.

The 9-5 Workday and Productivity

In South Africa, organisations have either prepared for a full return to the office or committed to large-scale remote work. The idea of work-life balance has informed either decision – employees working longer hours than expected or employees adopting healthier lifestyles, respectively. A valuable consideration for any business is the extent to which they endorse company values and empowering employees, as this can be linked to job satisfaction and performance. Moreover, is how remote working can be distinguished from flexible working. As a practice, the latter holds greater potential to influence the future of work. The latest South Africa Labour Productivity Growth report states that labour improved by 4.78% Year over Year (YoY) in December 2020, compared with a growth of 4.60% in the previous quarter. This report follows the national call to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The idea of the 9-5 workday can be traced to the Fair Labour Standards Act of 1938 in America. It officialised a 44-hour workweek, amending it two years later to the 40-hour workweek we have come to know. Understandably, the model was helpful at the time, but in an era of technological advancements whose benefits were amplified by a global pandemic, organisations should strive to evolve and meet the needs of the modern employee. Although the 9-5 workday is standard practice, it does not guarantee efficiency, productivity, or employee happiness.

With the entrance of Gen Z into the workforce – a group accounting for 36% of the global workforce in 2021 – it is expected that the workplace will be filled with technological solutions from collaboration tools to mental health support. Gen Z display a concern with flexibility, autonomy, and fulfilment – things that the 9-5 workday does not offer. Flexibility especially enables employees to focus on the most critical aspects of their lives, namely their well-being and that of their families, which allows them to function at their best in the workplace. It follows that when people have time for a personal life, they will be better employees.

Implications for Recruitment and Organisations 

An employer interested in what employees want can incite higher engagement and retention within their organisation and help with recruiting. What does this mean for recruitment and overall, an organisation, especially in 2021?

Mental health focus

Employers will explore new ways to manage mental health disruptions that may result from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, solutions ranging from well-being focused executive roles within Human Resources (HR) to on-site mental health professionals are expected.

Emotional Quotient (EQ) over Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

Hiring managers will regard a candidate’s emotional quotient or intelligence more than their technical skills – the ability to problem-solve and adapt will be a key asset, rising in today’s world of work.

Employee data analytics

Organisations will analyse data gathered from existing and potential employees to identify, build, and roll out tailored working models founded on new best practices, emphasising refining employee training and development. Business intelligence is a crucial way to evaluate productivity and employee needs.

While there has been an immeasurable and unforgettable disruption to lives, there has emerged room for empowerment in theories and practices. It is becoming more apparent that employers should respond to employee needs both internal and external to the organisation. This can mean a revision of the current workday, the factors that constitute productivity, and how to acquire new talent effectively.

Professional Sourcing specialises in executive placements within the African continent. Get in touch to find out more about current C-suite vacancies.

Professional Sourcing can assist with the recruitment process during and after the pandemic. Our team has a strong reputation for recruitment expertise within our specialisation areas. Visit prosourcing.co.za for more info.

Professional Sourcing can assist with the recruitment process during and after the pandemic. Our team has a strong reputation for recruitment expertise within our specialisation areas.

Professional Sourcing can assist with the recruitment process during and after the pandemic. Our team has a strong reputation for recruitment expertise within our specialisation areas. Visit prosourcing.co.za for more info.

Professional Sourcing has a strong reputation for highly developed recruitment expertise within our specialisation areas. We develop strong long-term relationships with our loyal clients. Allow us to help you deal with your frustrations of a lengthy hiring process.

Professional Sourcing is a top-tier South African-based recruitment agency operating internationally, IPM accredited, LEVEL 2 BEE RATED and 51% Black Owned.

Leave us a comment