What Are Core Hours? Are They Beneficial To Productivity?

Is flexibility at work something you desire? Is working during a small window of the day more productive for you? These small windows can be referred to as core hours. What are core hours? Core hours have been around for quite some time. In this post, I will talk about this concept that has been around for a few years.

Core Hour Schedule

Core hours means when employees are required to be in the office at the same time. Employees have the option to work up to half of their day in the office. The rest of the day can be spent elsewhere, such as working from home. The time outside of core hours can be flexible, and a nice bonus to the work-life balance issue.

An example of a core hour work schedule can be the following: 

  • An employee has free time in the morning, with their start time not until 10 am. They’ll work from 10 am-2 pm, then clock out and spend the rest of their day doing other things. It can be personal things or working from home for the other half of their day. 
What are core hours: Work hours are usually flexible when it comes to these work schedules.

For businesses that implement core hour work policies, they usually range in four-five hour work periods. They can be from 10 am-2 pm, 11 am-3 pm, or during the early morning and evening hours. Whatever works best for a business’s needs, core hours can be beneficial either way.

Core hours provide some flexibility for workers in managing their workdays. They’re not subject to a 9-5 schedule or working five full days in an office setting. The idea of working a few hours at the office appeals to some people. 

For the remainder of this post, I’ll write about some benefits to working core hours. Also, I’ll point out some of the cons of adopting core hour work policies.

Allow people to work together during peak time

One main component of core hours is the ability to work during a current peak period. Peak time is when you’re likely to perform your best at work.

For example, someone may do better working from late morning to the middle of the afternoon. At the same time, others may perform their best throughout the morning hours.

When employers set core hours for their employees, there’s an understanding things need to get done during those hours. If they need to have meetings and so forth, then that time should be spent wisely.

If core hours are set between 10 am-2 pm, there’s a sense of urgency to stay focused. So if those hours take place between peak periods, more likely people will focus on things that matter the most.

What are core hours: Working during peak time is the best time to get things done.

My preferred peak time

Personally, my peak period usually runs from late morning to mid-afternoon most days. Some days may differ, but the hours between 10 am-3 pm tend to be my best performing hours.

How core hours would be set up during those peak hours would be beneficial at any job I’m at. I know I would use that time efficiently and make sure I’m staying on track of my work.

Save time on travel

Although commuting may not be eliminated, individuals would save time on traveling to and from work. They may not be going during the usual rush hour, and they wouldn’t be doing it each day. If you work from home some days, that will cut out commute time for sure.

Even if you have a partially remote work schedule, it would still work out. Some days you can work a couple of hours at the office, or maybe work one full day at the office each week.

On the other days, you may have the option to work from home. So setting up core hours on some days would help workers save travel time.

Higher productivity and retention rate

Core hours can help with employee productivity if implemented correctly. According to one study conducted by Flexjobs, remote work was preferred by most of the respondents:

  • About 54% of respondents chose their home over the office to get their most important job done.
  • On the other hand, around 19% said they would want the office outside regular hours to get work done. 
What are core hours: Studies show that core hours can increase productivity.
Core Hours Increase In Productivity (Source: WorkPartners)

Although more people may prefer working at home, setting core hours plays a vital role in employee productivity. If they’re likely to be more efficient during a specific set of hours, then that should be considered.

Or if they happen to get more done outside of core hours, that can be helpful as well. Either way, it helps retain good employees who have a lot to contribute to their work.

Do more work at home

With an established schedule of core hours each week, it allows more time for individuals to work at home. If you only have to work a few hours at the office some days, it leaves the room putting in more hours at home. If people want to spend half their days working from home, that can help make equal time working at the office and home.

What to do at home or in the office

When it comes to core hours, it depends on each individual what they intend to get done. If they want to utilize their time on deep work at the office, that might be an option.

Or if that’s better suited at home, they can do that. Someone like me who gets easily distracted in an office environment might save my essential work at home.

But each person is different. If that flexibility is allowed, core hours can help determine which tasks can be done better at home or in an office setting.

What are core hours: Working at the office or at home can make a difference with these hours.

Downsides of core hours (very few of them)

Core hours can provide many benefits to accommodate work schedules. However, there are some downsides to implementing core hours. A few common ones may include the following:

  • Not being consistent: Employers need to make these schedules compatible (weekly basis) to make core hours effective.
  • Hours can be the same: If there’s a set schedule between 10 am-2 pm, then everyone has to be in at the same time. It goes back to the 9-5 idea. So maybe switching up the days here and there might be a better option.
  • Not a strictly set schedule: Unlike with 9-5, core hours can be set up based on a business’s needs. Core hours may not be in place each day, so that it may apply a couple of days throughout the week.

Final Words

As I mentioned earlier, core hours have been around for some time. Some companies have implemented them, with mixed results here and there.

Although there are some downsides to core hours, it’s another excellent option to provide flexible work arrangements. Not everyone is suited for a 9-5 work schedule so that core hours can be another alternative.

Time will tell if core hours become more common in the workplace. As the years continue to go by, the workplace will change drastically for the better..

Based on the benefits that I’ve laid out, core hours are seen as another alternative to address work-life balance and productivity concerns. If there is a need for employees to work in an office (but less often), core hours will continue to remain relevant in the years ahead. 

What are core hours: This post discusses the concept of core hours in the workplace.

Your Turn: Are core hours beneficial for flexibility and productivity?

I would like to get your thoughts on core hours. Do you work at a company that has a core hours work policy?

If so, what example does that type of policy give? Is it early morning hours, or later on in the day?

Or are core hours being considered where you work at? Do you think it would be a bonus?

Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your responses, and I’ll gladly respond promptly.

If you got value from this article, please bookmark this website to visit later for new posts every week.

Spread the word to others. Sharing is caring!

To get more of this type of content, you won't want to miss out my daily email letters. These are worth some golden nuggets and best tips to help you in your business. Sign up today!

Count me in on the daily letters via email!

For the latest videos that come out every week, subscribe to the YouTube channel. Also, be sure to check out our new space on 
Twitter X!


Twitter (X)

Medium Profile
Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. 

He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. 

Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. 

“Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” 

In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. 

You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.

Self Photo 2019: Here's a picture at a building in downtown Chicago.

2 thoughts on “What Are Core Hours? Are They Beneficial To Productivity?”

  1. Being able to work flexible hours and only be physically in the office during core hours, makes life so much easier for many employees. This is especially important if you have a family and you need to drop kids at school or pick them up. 

    Personally I find that I am more productive during the morning, and if I don’t have a commute to the office, I can spend that time working as well. Going to the office for team meetings and work that I cannot do at home, are sometimes essential, but I love the fact that I can work from home and manage my time more efficiently without interruptions. 

    • Hi,

      Core hours resonate with a lot of people, especially when it comes to flexibility. More people embrace the idea of wanting flexibility, and this type of schedule helps.

      I find that going into the office later can help. If there are things that can wait, I think it’s better that way.

      I agree with you on getting more important things done in the morning. After that, do the rest of your work later on in the day. It can help out a lot, and it’s more efficient as well.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- they’re very much appreciated.


Leave a Comment