09/08/2013 08:59 BST | Updated 09/10/2013 06:12 BST

Working Nine to Five, the Way Not to Make a Living

When you think of nine to five, does the petite and curvaceous Dolly Parton pop into your head, singing the following lyrics?

Workin 9 to 5

What a way to make a livin

Barely gettin by

It's all takin

And no givin

They just use you mind

And they never give you credit

It's enough to drive you

Crazy if you let it

I was recently interviewed by a student completing a Masters dissertation and one of her questions was 'what hours do you work?' This should be an easy enough question to answer, but not as straightforward as it seems. As an entrepreneur I have flexibility and unpredictability to add into the equation, which means that each week is different. One thing that I know for sure is that I definitely do not work 9 to 5.

I am not alone, when I undertook my Breadwinners 2013 research I found that working outside of the 9 to 5, Monday to Friday 'norm', was commonplace with the 600 plus respondents - 74% of which were women.

As you can see from the graph below, more than a quarter (27%) work one to two evenings per week, a further 21% work at least three to four evenings every week and a staggering 11% work every evening.


Evening and weekend work, of course, can be hugely beneficial to maintaining a balanced family life, when it comes to fitting employment around a busy household routine, and 7% work one weekend per month, 10% work five to six evenings per week and 7% work one day every weekend.

There is no such thing as a '9-5 routine' any more states one respondent and the survey results indicate that flexible working is becoming more common than ever before to fit around our other responsibilities - not just children but other dependents.

"I work compressed hours, so longer four days per week and a shorter day one day due to caring responsibilities of elderly parents".

"I'm always connected to email so feel like work 24/7."

"I start late and stay late sometimes, but wouldn't consider this evening work - I have flexibility to enable me to drop children at school and my partner picks them up from the childminder"

So does it matter if we work 9 to 5pm or not? Dolly's lyrics I think hold the answer.

If employees are provided with the flexibility they need, then it doesn't feel like

It's all takin, And no givin, instead both parties win.

Find out about the Female Breadwinners Leadership Success Programme, where we enable women to live in state of contentment, happiness and abundance.

For the full Breadwinner 2013 report authored by Helen Lewis and Jenny Garrett email

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role - the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at