I’m sat here early (well for Spain anyway) on a Sunday morning writing this. Whilst this may not be seen as work, I could as much be working on our tax return for the first quarter. On Friday night, Louise (my wife) and I worked on the marketing plan with a glass of vino. This is not because we are workaholics (OK I am a little) but rather that we have demolished the 9 to 5 working pattern from our lives and we are so much happier as a result.
We met in an office London. We would both get up at 7am, eat breakfast on the run, then cycle to work through rush hour traffic. In the office everyone would arrive at the same time. There would be a morning meeting at the same time everyday. Lunch time would also be a communal activity, I mean the entire London office population! The queue in Sainsburys for those “all you could cram into a salad bowl for 2.99” lunches was horrendous (come on, you have been there!) At the end of the day we rode home through the rush hour traffic. On the plus side, once you were home, the rest of the evening and weekend was your own.
Now, from our sleepy city of Girona in Spain, this madness seems like a long lost past. Herds of people moving around to the beat of a drum, because someone, somewhere, at some point in time, decided that people should work between the hours of 9am to 5pm (or there abouts).
What would be the impact on our congested roads and crammed trains if people worked a range of hours? I know that the queue for lunch would be smaller! In truth it would be beneficial to any business that serves the people and moves people around. Better still, if people worked from home, or closer to their home, imagine the environmental and community benefits.
Now that the business case for it is out the way, onto the important bit.
Most Monday mornings we can be found sipping coffee by the side of a lake in the sunshine. We run our weekly club ride at 11am from our shop in Girona. We open the shop nice and early, get any bikes out that need renting and then join a group of 10-30 local cyclists on a social spin to Banyoles lake or other local spot of natural beauty. What a way to start the week! It’s the complete opposite to my pre-dream life Mondays, sat in a work meeting, longing for the next weekend.
In fact, we ride our bikes everyday. We work in the morning and late into the evening, but enjoy the sunshine and fresh air in the middle. As cyclists, those hours suit us. I have friends that are owls and work much better in the evening, preferring to sleep in. Others that get up insanely early to beat the world to their work. Everybody is different. It’s time that working hours start to reflect this!