Trusty Oak: Why Filling Seats Doesn't Equal Productivity

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The Extinction of the 9-to-5

It's all over the internet, so it must be true. The eight-hour workday—the old 9-to-5 office shift—is obsolete. And while more companies than ever are offering flexible office hours and more work-from-home perks, there are still plenty of businesses stubbornly clinging to the traditional 40-hour workweek.

There are certainly benefits to setting consistent office hours: customers will expect the universal hours of availability for meetings and there's something to be said for following national workday traditions. The eight-hour workday has noble origins, too: it began as a way to limit the exploitative labor practices of the early 20th century when workers (including children) could expect brutal 100-hour weeks on the job and no paid time off. But since Congress enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, the global economy has changed drastically, as well as the kind of work many employees are performing. While we're revolutionizing technology and business, maybe it's time to take a closer look at the workday, too.

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