In commerce and industry, a 24/7 service is a service that is available regardless of time or day, as might be offered by a supermarket, convenience store, ATM, automated online assistant, filling station, restaurant, concierge services or a staffed computer data facility. Call centers may have representatives available 24/7; in some cases employees based in one continent and time zone provide services to customers in another during its night hours. A 24/7/52 service or 24/7/365 service is available year-round.
24/7 (spoken as "twenty four seven" or "twenty four by seven") is an abbreviation which stands for "24 hours a day, 7 days a week", usually referring to a production line or service facility or any other business available at all times without interruption. In the UK it may be known as round-the-clock service, with or without the hyphens. In some countries, such services are called nonstop.
In some cases, even a service stated to be available 24/7 may shut down, such as on a major holiday.
There has been criticism of companies that claim to provide a 24/7 service when actually only their websites, unattended by any staff, are in operation. 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. Some have also remarked on the "collective mania" especially in the United States that takes a sort of pride in the "work at all times" attitude exemplified by the 24/7 concept.
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.
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