Business hours – definition and meaning

Business hours are office working hours. In other words, the hours during the day when we typically conduct business. In the English-speaking countries, business hours are generally from 9 am to 5 pm. We call this the traditional ‘nine-to-five.’

Business hours in the United States vary because it has different time zones.

For example, many people in Chicago work from 8 am to 4.30 pm, while in some offices in New York City, the working day tends finish later. Americans vary their working times so that more hours can coincide with those in other time zones.

Business hours often means nine-to-five
Why do most of us like the end of the business hours but not the beginning so much?

Working hours – Mexico and tropical countries

In Mexico, business hours usually start about 7 am and continue to 6 pm. However, there is a long lunch break – from 2 pm to 4 pm. This 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. In fact, some workers have a ‘siesta’ during their lunch break. A siesta is an afternoon nap

Japan, Germany and Russia

According to, typical business hours in Japan are also from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

However, many Japanese office workers do a lot of overtime. In some large companies, flexible work hours have become popular.

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

In Germany, the typical working day starts earlier than in most English-speaking countries. However, German employees finish earlier than their British or American counterparts.

Most German workers clock in at 8.30 am. However, some start at 7.30 am. According to, you should not be surprised if nobody is at work after 4.30 pm.

If you have important business to attend to, you should contact German offices before 4.30 pm.

Russian business hours are between 9 am and 6 pm. Most Russian office workers have a one-hour lunch break.

Everybody expected that with advances in technology, we would all be working fewer hours. However, a Pew Research Center study found that the opposite has happened.

Researchers reported that workplace digital tech has increased the number of hours we work each week.

Video – Business hours in Germany vs. USA