Questions… I have many. First question: Are you OK?
Here are 5 questions I have for people who support 8 hour work days.
Some are ready to give up the norm of 8 hour work days and put it (and themselves) to rest.
Others are a little hesitant and want to keep the staple of our overworked & underpaid hustle culture.
For those people – I have questions for you. Please keep reading below if you are in support of 8 hour work days or just curious about its origin, productive output, & a few more thoughts I have too.
5 Questions I Have For People Who Support 8 Hour Work Days
Question 1: Do you know when the 8 hour work day was created?
In 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant enforced 8 hour work days, but just for government workers (Ward & Lebowitz, Business Insider, 2022). 1869. Yes, you read that right. Ulysses S. Grant. Dust off your history books, because we are living in the past.
Private sector employees wanted a break too, so after that, May Day strikes were a norm to protest the need for everyone to have an 8 hour work day (workers typically worked 100 hours per week). It was finally made a law for all workers in 1940 (Ward & Lebowitz, Business Insider, 2022).
So many are just so over “looking busy” to keep this outdated norm from 1869 in place.
Want to read more about how to negotiate for fewer hours worked, check out the post Unexpected Negotiation Tip: Negotiate for Less – 3 Items to Negotiate
Question 2: Do you think (assuming you know when the 8 hour work day was created) that we still need to engage in that type of work life a century later with modern updates, technology & efficiency?
You fill in the blank.
Question 3: Do you know the historical context of CEO vs. employee wages throughout the past 50 years?
“In 1993, federal securities regulators forced companies, for the first time, to reveal details about the pay and perks of their top executives. The idea was that once pay was in the open, boards would be reluctant to give executives outrageous salaries and benefits. This, it was hoped, would stop the rise in executive compensation, which neither regulation, legislation, nor shareholder pressure had been able to stop” (Ariely, 2008).
“But guess what happened. Once salaries became public information, the media regularly ran special stories ranking CEOs by pay. Rather than suppressing the executive perks, the publicity had CEOs in America comparing their pay with that of everyone else. In response, executives’ salaries sky-rocketed.
The trend was further “helped” by compensation consulting firms that advised their CEO clients to demand outrageous raises. The result? Now the average CEO makes about 369 times as much as the average worker – about three times the salary before executive salary went public” (Ariely, 2008).
”In 1976 the average CEO was paid 36 times as much as the average worker. By 1993, the average CEO was paid 131 times as much” (Ariely, 2008). In 2008: CEOs were paid 369 times as much (Ariely, 2008).
Now: CEOs were paid 320 times as much (Mishel & Kandra, 2020).
**In 2022 – this number is likely higher as “U.S. companies just had their best year since before most of us were born” (Gibson, CBS, 2022).
Question 4: Do you know who paid the most taxes this year based on % of income / profits?
I don’t know. Enlighten me. But I do know that “19 Fortune 100 companies paid next to nothing or nothing at all in taxes in 2021” (Center For American Progress, 2022).
“Corporate profits are surging to record levels, yet many of the nation’s biggest corporations are barely paying any taxes” (CFAP, 2022).
“Real wages systematically undershot productivity growth for most of the last two decades, and the labor share of income fell notably as a consequence. Corporate profit margins were the prime beneficiaries of the falling labor share,” (via Morgan Stanley analysts, Gibson, CBS, 2022).
Question 5: Have you seen recent research demonstrating peak performance hours compared to 8 hour working periods?
In a typical 8 hour work day, productivity is just 2 hours & 53 minutes (Mikel, 2017).
Check out getmoreflow.com for peak work hour information.
Those are my questions
So those are my questions for people who support 8 hour work days. Are you all okay? Or are you just the CEOs and C suite level executives?
Think about it. They need us to work 8 hour days to keep profits sky high despite modern technology & efficiency.
So they can fly their private jet to their next weekend adventure & sail their yacht into the sunset.
Stay golden, pony boy.
*Book: “Predictably Irrational” (2008)
Author: Dan Ariely
*Article: “CEO compensation surged 14% in 2019 to $21.3million: CEOs now earn 320 times as much as a typical worker” (2020)
Authors: Lawrence Mishel & Jori Kandra, Economic Policy Institute
*Article: “These 19 fortune 100 companies paid next to nothing or nothing at all in taxes in 2021” – Center For American Progress (2022)
*Article: “U.S. companies just had their best year since before most of us were born” @CBS (March 31, 2022)
Author: Kate Gibson
*Article: “You’re really only productive for this many hours in an 8 hour rok day study finds – Procrastination outweighs productivity for many office workers”
Authors: BETSY MIKEL, OWNER, AVECK @BETSYM
Website cited: Getmoreflow.com
Want More on Negotiation?
If you want weekly motivation and negotiation tips, sign up for blog posts and for daily inspiration follow @negotiatethis on Instagram.
Disclaimer: While the contents of this post and blog come from research and personal experience, each experience, situation and/or person has their own unique circumstances. This is not negotiation, financial or any other form of legitimate or official advice from an expert. Each individual should do their own independent, comprehensive research. Negotiation, career and all other decisions are the sole responsibility of each individual or party. Details found on the blog and in individual posts are opinions and should be treated as such for entertainment purposes only. Read further disclaimer information on the Disclaimer page.