The grind. The rat race. That steady eight-hour, five-days-per-week cycle we’ve come to know as full-time work is but one answer to the problem of output versus rest, productivity versus consumption. And it didn’t come from nothing. The 40-hour workweek has a storied history of activism and advocacy for fair working conditions, dating as far back as 1884.
Today, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes nonexempt workers who put in more than 40 hours in a workweek are eligible for overtime pay. But the FLSA does not require workers (exempt or nonexempt) to put in 40 hours.
With the 40-hour workweek at the discretion of private employers, many Americans feel they could benefit from and look positively on working fewer days each week (either in a four-day, 10-hour week or a four-day eight-hour week). In a TSheets 2019 survey of full-time U.S. employees and business owners, 58 percent of respondents support the idea of working four days per week as opposed to five.*