The Surprising Benefits Of The 9-to-5 Grind

The nine-to-five grind gets a bad rap, and in some cases, fair enough. Who likes staring at a computer screen under fluorescent lights for eight hours a day, five days a week?

Landing my first gig out of university made me nervous. The things I was going to have to give up! Thursday midday brunch with my favourite gal pal, not sleeping in past 7am for five days of the week, the Wednesday markets. I was used to 12-hour shifts, followed by panicked essay writing, and sleep ins. Now my alarm was to a have a regular daily setting – yuck.

However, I’m now well and truly a member of the so-called rat race, I can tell you it’s not that bad. And apart from paid annual leave and financial security (yay!), there are some surprising benefits of full-time work – the nine-to-five grind.

Office buddies

It may sound like a cliché but my co-worker buddies get me through even the most grinding of days.

Since moving my desk closer to the two girls I get along most in the office (my boss actually allowed this!), my work day is now 80% work, 20% Bachelor In Paradise. Not saying that I’m slacking off – but having a quick break with these new friends who I actually like makes work all the better.

Plus, you’re bound to make friends with types you’ve never had much in common with before, which can be a really rewarding experience.

Keeping up to date

Whether you drive to work or join the commuters on public transport, you’re bound to have some morning and afternoon/night time to kill.

Starting full-time work, I assumed this time would be filled with a great book. But as I found, my eyes just needed a good break. So, the podcast made an entrance, and man, was it grand. Staying up to date with a few good ones is not only an entertaining past time, but can keep you informed on current issues, privy to random facts (which are handy on trivia nights), and can help you stay motivated and positive.

In short, your commute is a great time to enjoy books, podcasts, discover new music or even get those annoying errands out of the way.

Coordinating social calendars

Arranging to hang out with friends up until this year was a task even an Excel spread sheet couldn’t handle.

I would sadly watch as group chats formed plans for Friday night when I had a bar shift, or Sunday morning brunch when I still had that 2000-word essay due the next day. Unless my friends also worked weird hours, I rarely got to see them, and even then, it was a struggle.

In first week of joining my nine-to-five gig, I casually asked my friend for a catch up and to my great surprise, plans were made two minutes later, pain-free.

Now, working the grind, arranging plans and catching up with mates is truly easy as pie. I can choose literally any night each week, and have two whole days spare a week to fill with all the social eating activities one can only dream of.

Friday drinks never tasted better

If there is one thing I’m sure all nine to five workers can agree is a huge benefit, it’s that when the weekend rolls around, it’s yours to do whatever you want with. And you bloody earned it.

As the clocks strikes 5pm on a Friday, that first ice cold beverage reaching your mouth never tasted so damn good.

As the clocks strikes 5pm on a Friday, that first ice cold beverage reaching your mouth never tasted so damn good. It’s probably because you’ve spent all week achieving, and earning the drink.

The Instagram sticker “Fri-yay” now finally makes sense.

Pick up random skills

Working in an agency or company, you’ll usually be surrounded by people doing different jobs to you, using different skills to you. And along the nine to five seven days a week journey, you’re bound to pick a few up.

I’m a copywriter and social media guru (assistant) by trade, but since starting at the agency I now work at, have picked up some handy skills from other departments, especially from the design studio. I now can Photoshop a meme in minutes (realistically probably still an hour).

It’s easy to just sit at your own desk and stick the tasks you’ve been assigned, but it’s worth your while casting your eyes over to what Jim’s doing a few desks away and asking if he doesn’t mind showing you. Even if it’s something as simple as plugging things into an Excel document. One, it’ll probably come in handy sometime in your working life, two you can now add financial planning to your resume, and three, it’ll impress your boss. Bosses love initiative.

Living with a routine

For the first time in my life since primary school, I have a regular body clock. No longer am I chugging Red Bull on a Wednesday night staring at a glowing screen, or waking up at 8am off one hour of sleep for a café shift. My body’s got rhythm, and I dig it.

The nine-to-five working life can be grating and giving it all up may seem tempting, but more than just getting around office fashion, consider the benefits of full-time work.

So whenever you’re feeling like your just a clog in the wheel working for the man, remember it could be a lot worse, and in fact, you have some pretty cool advantages to your work schedule.

Marnie is a Melbourne based freelance writer, spending most of her time in coffee shops or tending to her plant friends. Find her on Instagram @marnie.vinall.

Main image: 9 to 5 / 20th Century Fox