The workforce is in the middle of a tide-shift: 41% of people say they’d rather take a pay cut than go back to a linear, 5-day in-office work week. Millions are opting to continue working from home at least part of the time, and companies are overhauling their internal operations and physical spaces to make it a reality.
It’s one of the biggest transformations in work culture in our lifetime.
At Parsec, we’ll often talk about the demand for alternative working lifestyles. The flexibility to dodge a commute in favor of a morning walk with your dog or an extra hour with your kids drive this change. Getting more done during the stretches of time where you’re most productive, instead of expecting it to come at the office is freeing. So is the ability to work when you’re actually inspired to do so, rather than banging your head against a desk during your expected work hours. In the post-pandemic economy, the balance between life and work is shifting. We have a chance to overhaul where, when, and how we want to work.
But is it actually happening? Are people modifying their working hours and logging in when it makes sense for them?
The data says yes.
We looked at 2,000 anonymized Parsec customers that connect to their own computers and analyzed their sessions over the course of an average work week. Instead of expecting an equal spread across all five workdays, we found a 9 percent difference in activity between Tuesdays, which account for only 16% of sessions, and Wednesdays, which account for 25% of sessions. People vary their tasks and interactions throughout the week, allowing themselves more flexibility to what needs to be done and when to do it.
Perhaps it looks familiar. If you analyze your own workdays, maybe you’ll see something similar: you might use Mondays for planning and polishing the tasks from the previous week. Then, Tuesdays are spent thinking through the work for the rest of the week: taking notes, jotting down ideas, and starting to feel urgency at the tasks at hand.
The rest of the week, you’re riding momentum, getting through your plans, and doing more and more heads down work. You’re logging hours when you need to, not when you’re told.
As hybrid work starts to normalize, we expect these trends to become even more divergent. Working hours will diverge not just from the five day work week, but to the workday itself. Give people the ability to work, and they’ll do it in morning, afternoons, or evenings when they are going to do their best jobs. Whether you are a knowledge worker, a creative, or just trying to get through a backlog of admin work, inspiration ebbs and flows. Making use of your own momentum helps to get things done when you’re best positioned to do them.
The new normal is in its early days. But we can already make out the first signs of an asynchronous work week. And Parsec’s set to connect you to your creations, whenever inspiration strikes.