'Chronoworking' popular idea with Canadians: report

'Radical' reform to work hours could improve morale, productivity, says expert

'Chronoworking' popular idea with Canadians: report

Employees would very much like their employer to try out work schedules that adjust based on their sleeping pattern, according to report.

Most (87%) professionals believe employers should trial “chronoworking” – where companies allow workers to choose work hours according to their natural sleeping pattern.

“Chronoworking may feel like a somewhat radical reform to hours, but at a closer glance, we may find that professionals’ chosen hours would not be that far out from the traditional 9-5. Simply putting more power into the hands of professionals could be enough to help boost morale, sleep, and productivity,” says Martin Fox, director of Robert Walters Canada.

“What this trend does highlight is the desire for employees to shape their work-life around their personal needs, rather than be dictated to.”

When it comes to work, lack of sleep has a big impact on workers’ performance, Maude Bouchard, director of research and development of HALEO Clinic, previously told HRD Canada.

Benefits to matching sleep patterns

Almost half (48%) of professionals feel that their mental health would improve if they worked according to their natural sleeping pattern, and along with all-round better work-life balance, according to Robert Walters. 

And 33% feel that they would be more focused and productive in the workplace, found the company’s survey of more than 1,700 Canadian professionals.

If their company adopted chronoworking, nearly half (49%) said early start/early finish would come out on top, followed by alternating between different start and finish times (33%).

Just 9% of professionals say that they would start and finish late or stick to the traditional 9-5.

"As with any new approach, 'chronoworking' may not suit every person or organization. However, its popularity highlights the need to explore new strategies to enhance retention and productivity. Employers must learn to adapt to remain competitive and attract the best talent,” says Fox.

HR should encourage employees to sleep more, according to a previous report.

What are the problems with flexible working hours?

While workers have been working on flexible work schedules for years now, there are still potholes in the setup, according to Robert Walters.

Currently, half (50%) of professionals do not feel their organization's flexi model caters to their specific needs, and 30% feel their employer has a “one-size-fits-all” approach to flexible working.

A quarter of flexible working policies have come about organically, as a result of Covid-induced working practices. And 36% of employees say that their organization has no obvious approach or strategy toward flexi-working.

“Nearly four years on from lockdown and the onset of remote and hybrid working, and it is surprising to hear that companies and their employees have not found a ‘flow’ with flexible working,” says Fox.

“The workforce continues to crave innovative approaches to flexibility; however, it’s concerning that half of employees feel their current organizations flexible policies are missing the mark. This indicates a clear need for companies to rethink their strategies. Without tailored solutions, they risk alienating valuable talent and falling behind in today's dynamic workplace landscape."

Among hybrid workers, only 17% of employees have full control over how many and which days they will be in the office, according to a previous report.

Recent articles & video

How to be ‘fair and equitable’ with layoff compensation packages

Canadians ahead of Americans in taking vacation

The evolution of gender identity in the workplace - is sorry good enough?

Province warns employers about work hazard of high temperatures

Most Read Articles

Ottawa expanding Canadian Dental Care Plan coverage

Canada Border Services Agency workers to get 14.8% wage increase

Toronto shooter accused victims of mortgage fraud