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February 16, 2016

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Graphic: Kiss goodbye to the 9 to 5 job

In her third graphic for SHP, Helen Beers explains why we should say “Goodbye” to the traditional 9 to 5 job, with the increase in flexible and varied working patterns.

The Foresight Centre at HSE’s Health and Safety Laboratory anticipates that the transition from physical ‘bricks-and-mortar’ workplaces towards an always-on virtual working world, accessible from any device, will give rise to a phenomenon that has been termed ‘Martini™’ working.

Echoing the Italian spirit’s iconic advertising slogan, ‘Martini™’ working can be achieved ‘any time, any place, anywhere’ thanks to widespread internet connectivity and high speed mobile communications.

As the traditional 9 to 5 job is gradually consigned to history, the growing facility to work whenever and wherever could be viewed as a positive step towards levelling out uneven work-life balances. However, a workforce that is geographically dispersed and unconfined to conventional working hours is likely to create a challenge for employers needing to assess and manage health and safety risks.

If flexible and varied working patterns, unbound by time or location, result in increases in a long working hours culture, the incidence of conditions such as stroke and coronary heart disease  in the workforce may also increase.

Whilst it is impossible to predict the future, the Foresight Centre can raise awareness of trends and developments and can suggest a range of possible future outcomes. These can enable organisations to plan ahead and prepare for what the future may have in store.


Helen BeersDr Helen Beers  joined HSL in 2009 with responsibility for leading HSL’s social research work. She is currently the Technical Team Lead within HSL’s Foresight Centre, where her work focuses on demographics and ageing. Helen has a PhD in Health Psychology and prior to joining HSL worked within the health, education and finance sectors.






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