Is it the end of work from 9am to 6pm? Discover the non-linear journey

Instead of prioritizing fixed work hours, companies give employees the freedom to manage their own time

Will this be the end of the classic working day that goes from 9 am to 6 pm, with an hour for lunch in the middle? Without imposing the obligation to clock in and out at fixed entry and exit times, the remote work, popularized during the Covid-19 pandemic, opened space for a new format: the non-linear journey, informs BBC Brazil.

This because the possibility of working from home opened paths for asynchronous work, which can be done at a time that best suits each person's rhythm: there are those who prefer to carry out tasks that require more concentration in the early hours of the morning, when it is quieter, or people who like to advance projects early in the morning, for example.

Very popular in technology companies, this more flexible working model is already a decisive factor in retaining employees in this area. According to one research from McKinsey consultancy, 40% of interviewees state that work flexibility is one of the main motivators for staying or not in a company.

These more flexible working hours are more aligned with so-called knowledge work, which mainly requires training, information and intelligence from workers, explains Aaron De Smet, partner at McKinsey. In this model, creativity and productivity are prioritized, rather than the so-called presenteeism, a modality that understands the physical presence of employees as a sign that the work is being performed.

For Laura Giurge, professor of behavioral sciences at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the focus of companies on non-linear working hours is no longer on when or where employees work, but on completing the job. “Managers are responsible for setting goals and vision for employees, but they don’t tell them how to get there,” he says.

Benefits of asynchronous work

The proposal for non-linear working hours demonstrates that, even with non-fixed intervals and hours, productivity is maintained — or can even increase. This is because time spent commuting or idle time at the office can be used for domestic or personal tasks, for example.

This way, professionals have more time to exercise, spend with their family and use their break time during work for whatever they think is best, without giving up productivity. “Now, they can have more of a personal life and complete their work. And for companies, the work being done is often creative, innovative and emotional — but done well, in optimized and flexible environments,” explains De Smet.

Even with this flexibility, it is ideal to have some synchronized work periods between work teams, explains De Smet. For him, it is necessary to establish guidelines so that employees do not stray too far from a functional schedule. Meetings and brainstorming They would be, according to him, collaborative work solutions in which everyone on the team comes together to perform functions that require collective help.

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