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1926 Henry Ford announces an 8 hour, 5-day work week

September 25, 2021

1926 Henry Ford announces an 8 hour, 5-day work week

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.


  1. Dean Hunt

    I owned a Masonry Company in California and Alaska for 40 years and I never allowed my men after the first year in business to work more than 7 hours and 5 hours each week. After 4 hours and lunch they became more productive than when they worked 8 hours and 5 days each week.

  2. สต็อตออนไลน์

    Most blog readers are looking for short, entertaining, and informative posts, not pages-long novels that take a lot of time to read.

    • Tab

      We must not be reading the same article. What I’ve just read was short and informative.

  3. Randy Adams

    Henry Ford was trying to divert the workers from joining the union. He was responsible for hundreds of workers being beaten and killed by his own hired thugs during the union organizing.

  4. Todd

    This really does not tell the whole story, Henry Ford did indeed make these changes in his company but the eight hour workday and five day work week we’re already a poorly enforced law in many places. check out this quick read for more information.

  5. merwyn G. carlson

    the father of scientific management was a gent in the mid-late 1800’s, named Frederick winslow taylor…ford used his ideas/schemes, along with 3 others; elihu root, eli whitney, and boys in the meat pkg business…eli taught him interchangeable parts, root was somewhere with overhead pulley/tram system, and fred taught him how to divide the best workers for the best job…ford was not a genius by any stretch of the imagination, he used 4 other’s ideas to produce his machines…he just had the guts to see 9 players make a baseball team, and he applied the same principal to his product…there was an element of finance but didn’t know who gets the credit for that…

  6. Tab

    A true genius behind the 9-5, 5 days work week. Putting common sense into work at its best! Kudos to Mr. Henry Ford.

  7. Denis

    The statement Ford security men did beat those attempting to unionize Ford’s plants is correct. It should be noted, over time the unions did win.

    What must be shared is the positive affects Ford introduced were a huge benefit to workers.

    That does not mean the ends justify the means! If every successful businessman was looked at through negative eyes only, all would be considered scumbags. So yes, point out the negative sides of these peoples efforts, but let us not forget we all benefit from their ideas.


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