Hello and welcome to another inspiring weekly article. This week I would like to share my thoughts on the 8-hour workday. Since I have entered the workforce, the 8-hour workday was the norm. I have often wondered about the origin of the 8-hour workday. During my research on the subject, I discovered that approximately 200 years ago, the 8-hour workday was introduced to provide a more humane working life to the labour workforce.

That was 200 years ago; so why are we still clinging to a system which is outdated?

The Latvian IT company ‘Draugiem Group’ which has over 400 employees conducted a study on tracking their employees’ work habits via a software application designed to measure how much time employees spent on various tasks and compared this to their productivity output. The result of their research will surprise you. It actually did not matter how long an employee did work, but how they structured their working day did matter. In general, employees who took a lot of short breaks were more productive than employees who worked in long blocks.

This is not a surprise as the human brain has a spurt of high energy output for approximately one hour; which is followed by a low energy output for 15-20 minutes. The ‘Draugiem Group’ research concluded that the best working ration is 52 minutes of work, followed by a 17 minutes break. Once we feel tired, it is too late.  Checking emails, putting posts up on FB or watching YouTube will not recharge our batteries compared to taking a walk in the fresh air.

With the start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the way we work and spend our working hours is changing. Companies are forced to re-evaluate the 8-hour workday if they wish to get the best out of their employees. It won’t be easy to move from a well-established 8-hour system to something new which will allow employees the freedom to choose when and for how long they wish to work. Employees may gain more power during their workday, but in return, they will be held responsible to still achieve the desired output.

To avoid mass unemployment and growing inequality, today’s workers must be reskilled or upskilled. It is critical that businesses take an active role in supporting their employees in regard to re-training. In return, individuals must take a proactive approach to their own lifelong education.

If you would like to find out more how the Fourth Industrial Revolution will affect your business, why not engage an experienced business consulting firm like Synergy Consulting Australia. We will provide you with a tailored seminar as well as prepare a digital strategic plan, which will help your organisation to smoothly transition into the digital age.

Synergy Consulting Australia provides a large range of business consulting services which includes 4IR, Legal, Accounting, Marketing, Project Management, Migration services and many more tailored business solutions. This also includes a full market research and feasibility report before investing.

Synergy Consulting Australia is led by Ilona Solinska. Ilona has over 18 years’ international business consulting experience.  She is a successful business growth strategist, Keynote speaker, and writer. She has coached hundreds of businesses in the area of Marketing, Finance, Legal, Compliance, Operation, Change & Project Management and is a highly sought-after presenter on a wide variety of business topics.