Chronoworking Is The Latest Wellness-Work Mash-Up Trend And It Makes SO Much Sense

A real work-life balance.
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There’s no doubt that since 2020 attitudes to workplaces have changed, with many of us working between the office and home and some of us just working remotely entirely.

There has also been a leap of interest in four day work weeks and even job shares. The BBC revealed that Brits are the most likely to say, “we don’t live to work” with just 74% of workers stating that work is very or ‘rather’ important in their lives.

By contrast, other Western nations rank much higher on this measure, with 96% of people in Italy and Spain agreeing, and 94% in France.

With this in mind, it’s perhaps not surprising that another workplace trend is on the rise and like many recent trends, it prioritises a work-life balance first and foremost.

Chronoworking: the new workplace trend

According to Forbes, the latest workplace trend is called ‘chronoworking’. This aims to fit work schedules around the individual circadian rhythms and optimum times of productivity, rather than the rigid 9-5 system.

The term was originally coined by journalist and editor Ellen Scott and was first used in her Working On Purpose newsletter. Scott believes that this is a natural evolution of our focus on wellbeing and flexibility when it comes to work, predicting 2024 will be the year of us all “looking more deeply into how our body clocks and natural dips and rises in energy should define our working day.”

While this will, of course, vary from one person to another, research suggests that it could also be generationally different.

Adobe’s Future of Time report found that optimum working hours differ between generations with Baby Boomers being the most likely to stick to the traditional 9-5 and Gen Z being drawn to the hours between 6pm and 3am.

Regardless of which hours are the most suitable for your personal circadian rhythm, this could invoke an exciting period of productivity and wellbeing for employees.

According to the experts at Tomorrow Bio: “When you respect your body’s natural patterns and work in harmony with them, you are less likely to experience fatigue, burnout, and other negative effects of pushing yourself beyond your limits.”

How to implement chronoworking

While this won’t be suitable for certain types of businesses, The Startup Scoup published a short guide for getting started on implementing this in the workplace:

  • Survey your employees: learn more about their natural sleeping and waking patterns to establish needs throughout the workplace
  • Embrace flexibiliity: consider a range of flexible work options, from flexi-time to remote work to accomodate preferences
  • Leveraging technology: use collaboration tools and project management software to facilitate flexible communication and task completion
  • Shift your perspective: instead of focusing on clock-watching and attendance, focus on results and achievements over hours logged

Either way, it looks like this trend is only on the up.