What are business hours?

The term business hours refers to office working hours – the hours during the day when business is typically conducted. In the UK, US, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand business hours are generally from 9am to 5pm – the traditional ‘9 to 5’.

Because the US has several time zones, business hours may vary slightly.

For example, business in Chicago is commonly conducted between 8am and 4.30pm, while in some offices in New York City the working day tends to be later, from about 10am to 6pm, so that more of its business hours may coincide with those of workers on the West Coast.


Business HoursIn most of the advanced economies, office hours are from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

In Mexico, business hours usually start very early, about 7am, and continue to 6pm. However, there is typically a long break during the day, from 2pm to 4pm. This working day schedule is gradually shifting to the Anglo-Saxon timetable in major cities, such as Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

In many tropical countries there is a long break during the day, during which workers might have a ‘siesta’ (Spanish for an afternoon nap).

According to export.gov, typical business hours in Japan are also from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
However, many office workers put in several hours of overtime each week. In some large companies flex work hours have become popular.

Nearly all Japanese office workers take their lunch break promptly at 12:00 noon to 1pm.

In Germany, the typical working day starts earlier than in most English-speaking countries, but generally ends earlier too.

It is not uncommon for German office workers to clock in at 7.30am, although an 8.30am start is more common. According to newcomers-network.de, you should not be surprised if nobody is at work after 4.30pm. If you have important business to attend to, it is advisable to contact German offices before this time.

Russian business hours are between 9am and 6pm, with most office workers taking a one-hour lunch break.

Video – Business hours in Germany vs. USA