Alternatives to the 9-to-5 Work SetupApr 17, 2023
The traditional 9-to-5 workday can feel like an endless rat race for many of us. In addition, working in this structure can limit your freedom to pursue other interests and work on other projects. But now, with the advent of more flexible working arrangements, it's possible to free yourself from the everyday grind while still maintaining a steady paycheck. This blog post will explore alternatives to the 9-to-5 setup that will help you take control of your working life and find a schedule that fits your lifestyle.
Flexibility and more personal time are now possible with your work.
Working eight hours a day is standard practice for many of us, hence the idea of 9-to-5 jobs. This is the standard setup for work for the longest time. You wake up in the morning, prepare to work, travel to your office, and spend eight hours or more working there, and you do this five days a week. However, recent times have shown that there are alternatives to this work setup that is more flexible in terms of time and work arrangements. More people now have jobs that don't follow traditional design, and there are good reasons for that.
A 9-to-5 job has some problems. For one, you don't work only eight hours a day. An additional one-hour lunch break or one hour allotted for breaks can be divided depending on the company policy that gets added to your daily schedule. While one may argue that the one hour for the break is not for work, you still spend it within the company premises, making it seem like you are working nine hours a day. Overtime also exists. There's also the travel coming to the office and returning to your home, which can take an hour or more depending on how far your house is from your work. Travel time is additional time on your day that could have been spent for something else, and it's not paid unless the company gives travel allowances. Finally, every person has different work styles, and putting everyone on a fixed schedule and making them do the same work style may not be effective for everyone. Some may prefer a more flexible way of handling things, and people have different times when their productivity is at its peak. While there may be options to choose a work schedule, not every company will offer this, and many will have no choice but to stick to the preferred schedule of the company for their employees.
Seeing all these downsides can make one think if they will still prefer to work the traditional way, especially now that alternative work setups are available. However, technology and demand for new skills have created new job opportunities, and finding a new career utilizing these alternative setups is possible. Therefore, if you want more work-life balance, have more time for your personal life, and pursue other projects, these alternative work setups may work for you. They may start as secondary jobs, but they can eventually become full-pledged work that will be your primary source of income.
1. Remote work
Even before the COVID pandemic hit, remote work, also known as work from home, is already gaining traction. Once the lockdowns happened, it became a trendy way of working, allowing people to continue doing their jobs even when they could not go to the office. After the pandemic has settled, remote work continues to be a popular choice of work setup as people realize the benefits it could give them, such as working unconventional hours, gaining more time and flexibility to do other things, and removing the necessity to travel to work. Remote work also has its downsides, though, such as shouldering the costs of your equipment, not meeting your coworkers physically, and getting distracted if you are not disciplined enough. Still, it is an enticing setup compared to a standard office job, especially if you value your time and want to do more outside of your job.
Many work-from-home jobs involve skills and specialties for jobs that can be done anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection and a laptop or computer. For example, typical remote work jobs include being a virtual assistant, search engine optimization (SEO) expert, programmer, call center agent, writer, cold caller, data entry specialist, e-commerce account management, social media account manager, etc. In addition, many work-from-home jobs involve creativity, mental work, and technical expertise in using a computer or laptop and knowing your way with various programs and applications. If you know about such things and want more control of your time and life, remote work may suit you.
2. Hybrid work setup
The hybrid work setup became popular after the pandemic ended, and remote work became mainstream. It combines the traditional work setup of having to go to the office to report for work and being able to work remotely. Depending on the company policy, an employee will have to work on-site for a day or two, while the rest of the week is remote work. The hybrid setup is ideal for those who still like to travel occasionally and experience working in the office and physically meeting and talking with colleagues without commuting daily and feeling tired. This option is most likely available from companies that transitioned to remote work during the COVID pandemic and returned to on-site work once it ended. They may have adopted it as they may have seen its benefits, such as greater employee satisfaction and productivity and perhaps lower maintenance costs for on-site equipment.
While running your own business may technically be full-time, it can still be considered an alternative work setup. You run things on your terms, and tasks can be more varied than usual. If you are the owner and founder of the business, you may have to attend full-time to everything to manage it well. However, as your business flourishes and expands, you can start hiring people and delegating your tasks to others to the point you are only managing them now. This can lead to more flexibility and time for you as you don't need to micromanage everything, especially if you have trusted full-time employees. The main challenge with a business is getting it to the point where it gains a steady flow of income, so don't expect everything to be excellent and proper from the beginning. Businesses require a significant investment, so it may begin as a side hustle that can grow and give you money equal to a full-time income or more. Do not quit your job immediately if you have started a business while still working; wait for the business to grow first, and once you see it flourishing, you can turn it into the full-time career that you enjoy doing, as it is most likely that your business is something within your passion.
4. Side hustles
Sometimes, the income we earn from our job may not be enough for our needs and wants, which is when side hustles can come in handy. These jobs don't require as many hours of commitment as office jobs or other eight-hour jobs daily. They can supplement your income, although working another job before or after your primary job may be tiring. An alternative setup can be working multiple side hustles that pay a total income worth equivalent or more to a standard job. What's excellent with side jobs is that you don't commit to only one company, so tasks can vary, and you gain multiple experiences to use in case you want to find a different job later. Pay is usually based on output, so you don't need to waste many hours to earn your day's income. Part-time jobs, freelancing work, contractual projects, doing side business online or offline, and being a content creator or online influencer are examples of side hustles you can do and combine to earn income and enjoy what you are doing. It is even possible that one of your side hustles can become your dream job.
5. Passive income streams
Earning money while you sleep or just sitting around doing nothing? This seems ridiculous, but it can be a reality if you make wise investments with your money early in your career. The idea with passive income is that your money grows by investing it in something and increasing over time, allowing you to cash in the profit when you want it. This will only work if you invest in the right places, such as investing in stocks of companies doing well financially or setting up businesses early so they can grow and help you earn money while letting others do the work for you. Using passive income streams as your work setup and primary source of income will most likely happen in your older years, as you may be tired already of working and want to relax while still earning money. However, for this to work, you must be financially disciplined and make the right choices while still young to reap the benefits later.
There is more than one way to work and earn money.
Working a 9-to-5 job is slowly becoming a thing of the past as more people are now looking for job alternatives with different setups in terms of work involved and time commitment. Of course, we all know how valuable time is, and having the privilege to gain more for other things can entice alternative work setups. But, of course, your skills and interests can dictate whether these job arrangements work for you. In addition, not all jobs can transition effectively to shorter hours or a remote work setup, such as more demanding jobs and those involving physical labor. However, if you are already in a field of interest and skill where the job can transition into an alternate work setup like remote work, perhaps you can grab the opportunity and see if it works for you. If time and flexibility matter to you, alternative work setups can be your thing, and you can find opportunities when you search online and look for companies that provide them.