Today, many of us think of the five-day workweek as being the way things have always been done. It’s not. It only became a standard in the United States when the labor unions got the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) passed in 1938. Before that, most people worked a 48-hour, six-day-per-week job—and were glad to have it.
Are we less productive now? We are not.
Indeed, when Henry Ford, of all people, introduced the five-day, 40-hour week for workers at the Ford Motor Company, one reason he did so was that he thought it would increase productivity. He was right; though workers’ time on the job decreased, productivity went up.