The world was a different place before the pandemic; working from home was just a one-off, and flexible working hours were seen as a luxury to some.

By the time it’s safe to return to the office, it’s most likely that the many will have spent a year or more working from home.

This has definitely been a substantial time for those working from home to adapt to the flexibility that comes with it.

As a result of this, it’s possible that we could start to see the working day become more fluid, with small business owners and the self-employed working from home two or more days per week, and employees choosing their own hours.

But what are the advantages and disadvantages of the traditional nine-til-five being replaced?

Pros of 9 to 5

Consistent routine: Having a regular routine can be good for you mind and creates a sense of familiarity. You can also easily make plans around your jobs because you know exactly when and for how long you will be working.

Free evenings and weekends: You don’t need to worry about working late into the evening or spending time on the weekend catching up on work.

Cons of 9 to 5

Repetitive: Routine can get boring, which could mean that the work you are doing could also start to feel a little more uninspiring. Having the same routine can also be mentally stressful and tiring.

Rush hour: The build-up of traffic due to many people working at the same time can be extremely stressful. This can result in many making their commute hours earlier, therefore making your day longer and more tiring (which also affects your work-life balance).

Early mornings: Waking up extra early for work and for your commute five days a week can be mentally draining.

Is flexible working what we need to keep our minds stimulated?

Flexible working is very much a regular occurrence for the self-employed and those who have their own business. Keeping your own hours and planning your day to suit you are just two of the advantages that come along with flexible working.

Other pros of flexible working

Employee Flexibility: Helps maintain a good work-life balance. There is more flexibility to meet family needs, personal obligations and life responsibilities conveniently. If you have a flexible schedule, you can keep appointments during the day, such as going to the gym, attending a yoga class, or even just waiting at home for a delivery.

Employer benefits: IF you employ staff then here are likely to be fewer sick days, with the company showing itself to be progressive and willing to listen to the needs of its staff. Additionally, there is a cost saving to employers, who may be able to save office rental and ancillary expenses with more employees working at home. “Hot-desking” is usually also more economical.

Workforce benefits: Flexible working is intended to promote a happier, loyal, and more productive workforce, and therefore benefit both employees and employers alike.

Saves time: Employees can save on commuting time and costs.

Modern technology: Remote working is far more achievable now than ever before.

Cons of flexible working

Employer disadvantages: Employers may have difficulty dealing with competing requests to work flexibly. They may also feel a lack of control and awareness over the work being carried out on a flexible basis.

Communication difficulties: There may be communication break-downs if it is difficult to get hold of staff, which may impact on the co-ordination of projects, meetings and phone calls. Additionally, a lack of contact with colleagues at the office could limit the cohesiveness of teams and exchange of ideas.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to the two ways of working, although it is undeniable that many of the perks of flexible working have become more visible during the last 12 months.

Considering your next steps? Cooper Accounting provides bespoke guidance and advice to sole traders, partnerships and small businesses.

Get in touch to set up an informal consultation.