Ilya Pozin is an entrepreneur, writer and investor. He is the founder of Open Me, a social greeting card company, and Ciplex, a digital marketing agency. He’s a columnist on entrepreneurship and marketing


The traditional 9-to-5 workweek has become a relic of the past. Today, the number of hours an employee works is no indication of their productivity level.

Automatically adopting a rigid schedule may have a negative effect on your employees’ productivity and happiness. Telling them exactly when they must complete their work is a fast way to make them feel less autonomous and erode their trust. Your employees shouldn’t need to be forced to complete their work, but should want to do so for the good of the company – and more importantly, because they like what they do.

Not sold yet? Here are a few reasons why you should drop the set working hours.

1. You may be dragging down productivity

Setting specific time parameters for your employees means their success is tied to when they come in and leave the office, sign on or offline. In reality, the true measure of success should be focused on what goals have been met regardless of whether that’s done by lunchtime. Remember, your employees’ presence alone doesn’t indicate productivity.

Let’s face it: Simply filling the requirement of sitting in a chair for eight or more hours isn’t exactly motivating. Removing set hours will encourage your employees to boost their productivity and meet goals in a new and more productive timeframe.

2. There’s no trust factor

Adhering to a strict 9-to-5 schedule may leave your employees feeling like you’re micromanaging their work habits. Employees should have full autonomy to meet their goals however they want, especially since everyone works differently.

Show employees you trust them by allowing them to determine the best process for knocking out their work. That way, they’re more likely to own their work and be passionate about turning in great results.

3. The time clock is distracting

Your employees’ projects and tasks probably don’t consistently fit within a rigid, 9-to-5 schedule. So why do you want them thinking about how many hours they clock instead of meeting their goals?

Let your employees figure out how long they must be at the office to get something done. Sometimes this may mean working late into the evenings or heading out early to retreat to their home office to finish things up. During a big project, you don’t want someone walking out the door as soon as the clock strikes five.

4. Your hours may be inhibiting teamwork

Depending on your industry or company, teamwork may be a huge part of your culture. Working in a team can make a huge difference when it comes to productivity overall. Unfortunately, having set hours may mean individual team members are less likely to pull their weight.

Let your employees focus on meeting team goals and collaborating to make it happen, whether that means they all work together in the office during the same hours or that they work in chunks of time here and there. They know how to get their work done – empower them to do it on their own terms.

Toss that punch clock

Getting rid of employee hours can seem like a huge cultural change for your company, but there are many benefits to reap in the process. Keeping employees happy, motivated, and productive starts with you showing you trust them above all else. Removing set hours can prove just that.

Do your employees have set hours?