The Era Of The 8-Hour Workday May Be Coming To An End

The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act established the standard 40-hour work week with which most Americans are intimately familiar. However, technology has slowly been encroached on many American workers’ off hours in recent years. While many employees are only asked to be in-office during the typical 9 a.m.–5 p.m. work hours, smartphones make employees available for work-related emails and texts 24/7.

Will There Be A Global ‘Right To Disconnect’?

For employers, this constant contact with employees may seem like a great opportunity to make business operations run more smoothly. However, a growing number of countries and companies are experimenting with the idea that workers are actually more productive when they receive more time away from work.

In addition to its legally-mandated 35-hour work week, France recently instituted a new law requiring all companies with at least 50 employees to spell out rules regarding after-hours communications. The so-called “right to disconnect” law is aimed at protecting employees right to maintaining their personal time away from work.

Automaker Volkswagen AG (ADR) VLKAY 0.6% has made after-hours disconnecting mandatory. The company’s email servers shut down after the work day ends.

Sweden is taking work-week experimentation one step further. The Swedish government has been experimenting with 30-hour workweeks and has gotten positive preliminary results. Companies that have been part of the 30-hour work-week experiment have reported reductions in absenteeism and improvements in worker health. Perhaps most importantly, productivity is also up.

What’s Coming For America?

Improved productivity is the major reason why these experiments may soon become more than just an interesting read for American workers., Inc. AMZN 0.83% has already been experimenting with 30-hour workweeks for certain employees. The employees are paid the same hourly rates as full-time employees and have all the standard benefits of full-time employees as well.

Other companies are opting to combat the extended hours that have become standard in the modern work environment by shortening the workweek by one day. According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, 43 percent of companies now offer four-day workweeks to some employees and 10 percent of companies offer it to most or all employees.

Tax services firm Ryan reports that employee turnover dropped from 30 percent to 11 percent after the company implemented a flexible workweek program.

Reusser Design asks employees to work 10.5 hours a day, four days a week for a total of 42 hours per week. The company reports…

Click here to continue reading

Want to learn more about how to profit off the stock market? Or maybe you just want to be able to look sophisticated in front of your coworkers when they ask you what you are reading on your Kindle, and you’d prefer to tell them “Oh, I’m just reading a book about stock market analysis,” rather than the usual “Oh, I’m just looking at pics of my ex-girlfriend on Facebook.” For these reasons and more, check out my book, Beating Wall Street with Common SenseI don’t have a degree in finance; I have a degree in neuroscience. You don’t have to predict what stocks will do if you can predict what traders will do and be one step ahead of them. I made a 400% return in the stock market over five years using only basic principles of psychology and common sense. Beating Wall Street with Common Sense is now available on Amazon, and is always available on your local internet!