21/08/2018 12:09 BST | Updated 21/08/2018 12:09 BST

Working 9 'Til 5? Only 6% Of Us Now Have A Traditional Working Day

'What a way to make a living.'

The 9-5 working day was once so popular that Dolly Parton even wrote a song about it, but new research claims just 6% of us now work those hours in the UK.

A YouGov poll of 4,000 UK adults suggests that traditional working hours are on the way out. Half of those polled were employed while the rest were students, unemployed, or retired. 

Those in full-time employment said they would prefer to start and finish earlier - with 8-4 and 7-3 shifts both being popular alternatives.

In fact over half of those surveyed (58%) wanted to move away from traditional working patterns in favour of more flexible employment, so they could prioritise commitments outside of work.

AleksandarNakic via Getty Images

Four in five parents and students said flexible working would help them juggle family and studying commitments but a third said their employer wouldn’t consider it. Just under half (48%) of people would also prefer to work longer days in exchange for shorter working weeks, it found.

In terms of what makes a job stand out as a ‘good job’, two-thirds of people said a sociable workplace and 60% said a convenient location.

The poll was commissioned by McDonald’s, which employs 90% of its staff on flexible contracts. In a separate study of 1,000 McDonald’s employees it also found flexibility and the opportunity to learn skills were high on their agenda. 

Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said:  “Employers need to create opportunities that genuinely work for people whatever their age, life stage, or ambition. The business case is clear, as are the links to improved happiness and wellbeing – people simply don’t want to work 9-5 anymore.”

Parent vlogger Mother Pukka, whose real name is Anna Whitehouse, has campaigned for flexible working. She added: “Flexible working is not a ‘nice to have’, it’s a fundamental shift that has to happen to the fabric of the working world. We see it as a two-way relationship, businesses trusting their employees and employees taking responsibility to get the job done.”