Should we be working 8-4, instead of 9-5?

Charlie Benson
Content Marketing Executive

Two thirds of British workers would prefer to start and finish the working day earlier than the traditional 9-5. 

YouGov researchers asked almost 2,000 UK professionals when, if given the choice, they would ideally start and finish an eight-hour shift. 

Only 14% of workers selected 9am-5pm, with the most popular option proving to be 8am-4pm (25%). A further 13% of survey respondents would opt to begin the working day at 8:30am and finish at 4:30pm.

All in all, 66% of us would prefer to start and finish work earlier than 9-5, whilst a mere 15% would prefer to start and finish the working day later than 9-5. 





Two key factors impact the hours we'd prefer to work: age and location. 

Overall, British workers seem to be leaning towards starting and finishing the work day earlier. However, young people are more likely to want a later start.

YouGov found that the younger someone is, the more likely they are to want to start work after 9am (19% of 18-24 year olds vs 9% of 54-65 year olds). 

London-based professionals are also significantly more likely to want to start work later. Over a quarter of employed Londoners would like to begin the working day after 9am (27%). Meanwhile, only 12% of professionals in the rest of the South and 13% in the North want to do the same. 

Researchers suggested this may in part be due to the number of younger workers in London affecting the results, as well as issues around overcrowding on public transport in London during rush hour. 

The divided results certainly suggest that companies who have implemented a more flexible approach to working hours have the right idea - ensuring employees can work at times that suit them best, and allowing them to be at their most productive.