9-5 is dying, and here’s how leaders need to handle it

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The world of 9-5 work is dying, if not already dead. Mobile technology means that we’re never more than 10 seconds away from our emails, colleagues, clients and boss. Global companies, working in multiple time zones, mean that we have video conferences from 5am until 10pm. Frequent and easy travel mean that we’re on the go during weekends in order to get to a meeting first thing on Monday morning. The lines between work and personal life are now extremely blurry, and they’re not going to become clearer any time soon.

Leaders around the world need to realise this in order to stay relevant. If you still work in a company that enforces 9-5 rules, within 5-10 years this will almost certainly have changed. Now is the time to start adapting. The first step is understanding and acceptance. This change is coming, and it’s inevitable. The next step is action. Here are 5 key actions that you can make to change your attitude and behaviour to help support your team when they are living in the new world of work.


9-5 work life revolves around process. It thrives when people have to go through the same process to achieve an outcome. Now that 9-5 is dying, it’s time to forget the process too. A great way to do this is to be results focused. Be extremely clear with your team what the desired result of their role is.

What outcomes do you want to see?

What results do you want to achieve?

How your team achieve these results is up to them. In an environment where people are motivated and accountable, the results-focused approach can be highly effective.


It should be fairly well established that leaders need to care about their team on a personal level. However, now it’s more important than ever. People are now taking their work home with them. With mobile technology and global companies working in multiple time-zones, it’s impossible not to. They are also bringing their personal life with them to work – this is also impossible not to.

In a new world where the best and most dedicated people are always slightly switched on to work, leaders need to work harder to ensure they are aware of their team’s well-being, and also be there to support when it’s needed. The leaders that do this, and do it well, are the ones that have the most loyal and high performing teams, both now and in the future.


The days of ruling by fear are over. We now live in a world, where people respond well to a safe work environment. Your people need to feel safe in their position. This means they can begin to own the role their way, and start to express themselves. When this happens, you begin to see the happiest people and the best results.


It’s time to forget about expecting people to arrive at 9am sharp.

It’s time to forget about expecting people to stick to 25 days of holiday a year – no more, no less.

It’s time to forget about expecting people to come to work everyday when it’s just more practical for them to work from home.

Aim higher.

Instead of expecting people to adhere to small insignificant rules, expect people to own larger, more impactful roles.

You can do this by prioritising a culture of freedom. Always keep the big picture in mind, and allow your team to build their job around their life. This will deliver loyalty, dedication and commitment.


A culture of freedom increases the importance of a clear company vision and values. The vision and values will help to guide decision making within the company. Make sure your vision and values are always heard and always visible. Also, make sure to have open discussions with your team about why these values exists. The best leaders are able to align the company values with those of their team members. This is only possible if you really know your team personally, and understand what they stand for and value in life.

Whether the 9-5 work week is dead or still dying isn’t important. The important fact is that the nail is already in the coffin. Numerous studies show that millennials prioritise flexibility over salary when looking for a job. This will only increase as we move into Gen Z workers too. 9-5 has served the world (fairly) well for years, but the time has come to move on.

In a 2014 report, PWC laid out the world of work in 2022. They discuss 3 worlds of work, the Blue World, Green World and Orange World. The Blue World is dominated by huge corporates that chase big profits. The Green World is led by environmental factors, and is focussed on making the world a better place. The Orange World describes a global network of connected specialists all collaborating and working on various different projects for short spaces of time. The Orange World completely rejects 9-5 culture, indeed it even rejects the notion of an office at all.

As we move into this new chapter in the story of work, there are many exciting developments still to come. With more freedom, and more flexibility, there will be room for more collaboration and creativity. Plus, people will be able to match their passion to their vocation much more easily. All of these things leave me excited for the future of the world of work… The future’s bright, the future’s orange.