If you are wondering about how the 9 am-5 pm jobs came into existence, it will surprise you to know that Henry Ford was the mastermind. Back in the 1920s, the Ford Company came up with a welfare department that looked out for the plight of its workers. To help his workers avoid unhealthy lifestyle choices, Ford announced the 8-hour, 5-day work week on Sept 25, 1926, coining the 40 hour work week.
How Ford’s 8-hour work directive took effect
During the industrial revolution, employees spent between 10 and 16 hours a day performing their factory duties. This translated to fewer resting hours, resulting in poor productivity. Some workers went ahead to quit their jobs due to health-related issues. Others suffered mental diseases, affecting their concentration at work. Someone needed to step in to give an example of how workers’ plight can be addressed. That is where Henry Ford’s 9-5 job rule came into existence.
The logic behind the eight-hour workdays and 40-hour weeks
The 40-hour weeks news came as a shock to most of his employees, considering that other employers only related productivity with the number of hours spent at their factories. Ford argued that workers needed to spend time pursuing other hobbies and bonding with their loved ones. This compelled his decision to ban the welfare department of his company.
As an industrialist, Ford was not just focusing on his employees’ comfort. His reasons were more capital-focused. He argued that businesses needed to allow staff free time to shop so that companies can make a profit. If they had more hours to relax, their work productivity would heighten.