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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

24/7 is an abbreviation which stands for "24 hours a day, 7 days a week", usually referring to a business or service available at all times without interruption.[1] The first use of the term "24/7" was most likely in a popular song of the same name in 1989 by Dino Esposito. Another early known use of the term is attributed to Raymond Sandoval who first used 24/7 during a business presentation. Raymond stated "we need to be available to our customers 24/7, that is 24 hours a day 7 days a week." [2] In the UK it may be known as round-the-clock service, with or without the hyphens.[3][4]



In commerce and industry it sometimes identifies a service that will be present regardless of current time or day, as might be offered by a supermarket, convenience store, ATM, Filling station, restaurant, concierge services or a manned computer data facility. Today, it is common for call centers to have representatives available 24/7. This is due to, in part, a decrease in long distance phone call charges, which allow employees based in one continent and time zone to provide services to customers in another during its night hours.

In some cases, even a service stated to be available 24/7 may shut down, such as on a major holiday.

An extended version 24/7/365 intends to denote a service that is available year-round, by including the number of days per year.


There have been some criticisms of misuse of the abbreviation in the internet age, with companies claiming to be available 24/7 when actually only their websites, unattended by any staff, are in operation.[5] When not only services are intended to be available 24/7, but employees are also expected to adapt their working hours with similar flexibility, such 24/7 workplaces can put employees under conditions that limit their personal life choices and development. Calls for a re-humanisation of the 24/7 workplace have therefore been voiced.[6] Some have also remarked on the "collective mania" especially in the USA that takes a sort of pride in the "work at all times" attitude exemplified by the 24/7 concept.[7]

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the Sunday trading laws prevent many stores opening truly 24/7, though they sometimes advertise as such. Some core services such as filling stations are exempt from the law requiring them to close. A campaign against changing the law was supported by many bodies including the Church of England, the Church in Wales and many secular bodies, called Keep Sunday Special.

See also


  1. ^ Piasecki, David J. (15 March 2003), "Inventory Accuracy Glossary", Inventory Accuracy: People, Processes, & Technology, Ops Publishing, ISBN 0-9727631-0-4,, retrieved 2009-05-04 
  2. ^ Where does 24/7 come from?, BBC News, 25 July 2007 
  3. ^ Gledhill, Ruth (26 March 2009), "Condoms to be advertised round-the-clock on TV", The Times 
  4. ^ Plunkett, John (1 April 2009), "Glastonbury to be covered round the clock by BBC 6Music", The Guardian 
  5. ^ What 24/7 should mean?,, 20 February 2001,, retrieved 2009-05-04 
  6. ^ Piazza, Charles F. (23 January 2007), 24/7 Workplace Connectivity: A Hidden Ethical Dilemma, Santa Clara University,, retrieved 2009-05-04 
  7. ^ Kettle, Martin (3 August 2001), "So long, American work culture", The Guardian,, retrieved 2009-05-04 


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




  1. twenty-four seven; all the time; 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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