According to a survey administered by career builder, the majority feel it’s a thing of the past!
The traditional 8-hour day has seemed to be over taken by flex time and technological innovations that allow work to come home with you. What made us think that an 8-hour day was the most productive anyway?
Let’s get the history: In the late 18th century during the industrial revolution, factories were utilizing a single work force 16 hours a day. These were not sustainable hours for any employee under most work environment conditions. Robert Owen- started a campaign “Eight hour labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.” So there we have it, the birth of the eight-hour day…
Interestingly enough, Ford Motor company was the first to adopt the idea. The result of this was that their productivity doubled along with their profit margins…with their staggering results, they encouraged other manufacturing companies to look at their productivity model and adjust the average work day.
Fast forward 100 + years and we are once again addressing the length of the work day. Now we say Work Smarter- Not Harder. Well what does that mean? Manage energy not your time… according to the famous author Tony Schwartz. According to him, humans have 4 different types of energy: Physical, Emotional, Mental & Spiritual – Ultraradian Cycles.
Basically we can focus for 90-120 minutes at a time. Then we need to shift our focus onto something different for 20-30 minutes. Well that is great if you can do that… but most of us can’t. Instead, with today’s technology-people are taking their work home, to the gym, to wherever they have service. The dis-advantage to this, is you may be doing less during your work hours because you can fall back on doing it “later.” Then the harmonious balance between work and personal is disrupted. Unless you are in a job- where you have an awesome boss that offers you leniency when you need to take personal time to off-set the after hour work time…you are not in a good spot.
I personally believe that we are the most productive and are reaching or truest potential when we have reached a balance in all aspects of our life. Work needs to stay with work and personal needs to stay with personal. Balance IS being the most productive. Creating balance IS working Smarter, Not Harder. Don’t bring your work home with you, I am sure that there are loved ones that need your undivided attention…and on the flip side- personal issues don’t need to come to the office