Two-thirds (66%) of employed adults would choose an earlier start and finish to their working day if given a choice, according to research from YouGov.

The polling firm asked 1,965 workers to select their preferred working hours from 17 shift options and found only 14% would opt to retain the traditional 9am-5pm day.

The most appealing option was for respondents to start their working day an hour earlier, with 25% wanting their shifts to begin at 8am and end at 4pm.

Another 13% would prefer to work 8.30am to 4.30pm, while only 15% voted to start an 8-hour shift after 9am.

Preferences did not appear to be related to childcare or the school run as both individuals with children (73%) and people without children (67%) wanted to start work earlier.

All employees have the legal right to request flexible working, so long as they have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks.

Workers can initiate the ‘statutory application’ process by writing to their employers, who must deal with applications in a 3-month window.

If an employer accepts the application, they must amend the terms and conditions of the employee’s contract.

However, employers can also reject applications if they have a good business reason.

Quote from Nigel Holland:

“The time in which an employee wishes to start work depends on how convenient it is for their everyday life. Flexible working hours are important for employees who struggle to balance their work life and personal life, therefore this helps to reduce stress and increase motivation throughout the workplace. Consequently, productivity can increase and thus make the business more efficient. As highlighted on above, many people wish to start work earlier, whether they have children or not, therefore this shows a clear demand for an earlier start and finish working day.”