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Today’s rant is a subject close to my heart. Why do we work such rigid office hours? Why isn’t there more flexibility in working hours for office workers?

 Most of us really don’t need to be glued to our desks and computers five days a week from 9 am to 5 pm but most of us do it. Or worse still plenty of us work several hours either side of these standard hours.

 What’s wrong with starting later or finishing earlier or even taking a whole day off on a regular or occasional basis? I think we’re still following the ridiculous practices set down during the industrial revolution and it’s no longer relevant.

 Of course technology has allowed many people the opportunity to unchain themselves and be more mobile. But this seems to have led to an extension of the working week. I’ve got lots of friends and work associates who carry their iPhones or Blackberries everywhere and answer calls or emails at any hour of the day or night. Don’t they want to switch off sometime?

 A couple of years ago I negotiated a nine day fortnight for my working hours and absolutely love the concept. I have an extra day to myself to do all those things I never get time for on the weekend. I recommend it to anyone who wants a little time to themselves.

 I’m talking about business in general but these problems apply equally to the PR industry. I’ve heard some awful stories about young consultants working ridiculous hours because they had to be 100 per cent billable. No human can bill 100 per cent of their time. We all need to go to the toilet, eat, make a short personal call and day dream. Heaven forbid we should just want to do nothing for three minutes!

 I’d encourage employees and employers to be more flexible about how they think about working hours. We seem to make some exceptions for people with children and those caring the elderly family members but what about the rest of us. We don’t all want to trudge to an office every day and sit in a little windowless cubicle.

 What do you think about working hours? Does your employer offer any flexibility? I’d love to hear your views.

 - Nicola Rutzou