What are ‘non-linear’ working hours and how does it influence productivity

  • Alex Christian
  • BBC Worklife

Man looks at computer in home room

Credit, Getty Images

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Some professionals prefer to perform tasks that require greater concentration late at night or advance projects early in the morning.

Decades ago, the workday often meant that employees arrived at the office at 9 am, had lunch at noon, and left at 5 or 6 pm—period.

Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed that timeline. Not only have professionals been working remotely for more than two years, the specific way they do the work has also changed.

This reorganization also spawned new work patterns of all kinds, including the “non-linear workday.” Here, professionals can do their work outside the traditional rigid schedule, from nine to five (or six), often at the times that work best for them.

Even working asynchronously — without all colleagues keeping the same schedule — employees can complete tasks with concentration in flexible blocks spread throughout the day. The idea is that employees can establish work schedules based on their personal life, not the other way around.

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