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Congratulations, Your 9-to-5 Job Is Officially 24/7

A new CareerBuilder survey concludes that the 9-to-5 workday is running out of time.

CareerBuilder surveyed more than 1,000 employees working in traditional, 9-to-5 jobs for their thoughts on whether 9-to-5 is still a relevant work schedule.

It's a nutshell, it's not: Verging on two-thirds (63%) of survey participants think the 9-to-5 concept is outdated.

Even more, nearly one-fourth (24%) can't seem to leave the office behind when they leave its four walls. Roughly 1 in 4 surveyed admit to checking work emails when they're hanging out with family and friends, while 2 in 5 surveyed (38%) keep right on working like they're still at the office.

Of course, the "always-on" work model is just the way it is for the average working professional these days. It's the path to productivity, and progress:

"Workers want more flexibility in their schedules, and with improvements in technology that enable employees to check in at any time, from anywhere, it makes sense to allow employees to work outside the traditional nine-to-five schedule," says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. "Moving away from a nine-to-five work week may not be possible for some companies (yet), but if done right, allowing employees more freedom and flexibility with their schedules can improve morale, boost productivity and increase retention rates."

So "allowing" employees to work outside the traditional 9-to-5 window just makes sense, because it's the way to "freedom" and "flexibility." But is working from home into the wee hours and surviving on five paltry hours of sleep a night a good thing in the long run?

I don't think so. Employees who feel like they can't put the work away will burn out in our don't-look-past-the-current-quarter economy. We need to pace ourselves, because a career is a marathon not a sprint.

Repeat after me: Not every email is urgent, and some calls can go to voice mail. We'll get back to them later, because we want to be present in our own life as a loved one tells us about their day. Now that's freedom.


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