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In the Western world, a five-day working week has been the norm for less than a century.
Shorter working weeks have been tried in New Zealand and Sweden, where they resulted in happier, healthier and more motivated employees. Those who work shorter weeks reported that they were more productive.
But for many workers, the feasibility of a three-day weekend depends on whether they can afford to skip a shift. Businesses may also find a four-day work burdensome because the overall output is reduced.
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Nearly a century ago, British economist John Keynes predicted this generation would only work 15 hours a week.
In 1890, workers worked an average of 60 hours per week. By 1890, the aver...
The rise in average working hours a week can be related to three serious issues:
The rise of knowledge work has led to jobs with less structure, more demands, and higher pressure to be productive.
Studies show that working more hours increases productivity up a point; after that, the law of diminishing returns sets in. That point is around 49 hours per week.
Research shows overworked employees have an increased risk of fatigue, general poor health, and cardiovascular disease. Another study showed that managers couldn't tell which employees worked 80 hours per week and who just pretended to.
Our culture claims that work is unavoidable and natural. The idea that the world can be freed from work, wholly or in part, has been suppressed for as long as capitalism has existed.
The work ideology is not natural nor very old.
Monitoring software that checks time spent on different applications, chat response time, and keystroke recording is now in great demand.
HR departments worldwide are fueling the use of technology to have a way to control the employees that are now no longer in the office.