Work-Life Balance

Richard Branson Says the 9-5 Workday Grind Is About to Die. Here's Why.

The Virgin Group founder urges businesses to implement flexible work practices to get the most from their employees.
Richard Branson Says the 9-5 Workday Grind Is About to Die. Here's Why.
Image credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin | Getty Images
Entrepreneur Staff
Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.
2 min read

Richard Branson believes the 5-day, 9-5 work week will eventually become extinct.

In a recent blog post, the Virgin Group founder cited a familiar argument, that technological innovation -- especially advances that do away with the need for people to operate everything from factory machinery to cars and planes -- will change work as we know it.

But he writes that this doesn’t necessarily have to be something to fear. Instead it can be an opportunity to shake things up for the better, and to accelerate the creation of smarter working practices for everyone.

Related: Advice for Elon Musk From Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and Mark Cuban

“One useful idea is for governments to provide tuition for workers to gain the technical skills needed in the new marketplace, in exchange for public service. We need more creative solutions too,” Branson explains.

Two other ideas that Branson supports are the proliferation of three and four day weekends and job sharing. These would prioritize a work infrastructure that allows employees to have full lives outside of an office, to spend time with friends and family, to  devote time to the things they are passionate about, and to focus on being physically and mentally healthy.

Branson explained how flexible work is a big part of how he leads Virgin Group. “If you trust people and treat them as adults, they will repay you by working effectively and efficiently,” he wrote. “Choice can empower people to make good decisions and feel positive about their workplace, helping to keep great employees and attract new talent. If we all work smarter, we won’t have to work longer.”

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