Transformative Essay: Six-Hour Work Day

Decent Essays
As Dolly Parton so explicitly says, "Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin'. Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin'." The idea of an eight hour work day is familiar to the majority of Americans, because the eight hour work day is standard practice in the United States. However, this common eight hour work schedule is criticized for its length. "To stay focused on a specific work task for eight hours is a huge challenge," states Linus Feldt, CEO of Stockholm-based app developing company (Bhattacharya 2015). Feldt's company, Filimudus, switched to a six-hour work day last year to hopefully improve the stamina and efficiency of its employees. Other Swedish companies are beginning to adopt this six hour transition,
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If simplified, the disconnect in family life can be put into a broader category of the consequences that come with the length of time an individual spends in the workplace. Thus, the disconnect in family life transforms from merely a personal trouble for the Filimundus employees into a social issue of the length of time spent in the workplace. The historical factors behind the traditional eight-hour workday come from the Industrial Revolution, where new companies started to maximize the output of their factories by having workers in the factory all day in order to run the machinery. Eight-hour shifts allowed for exactly three rotations of employees running the machines for twenty-four hours straight, repeating each day. However, companies began to exploit their workers and made them grind out even longer shifts. Henry Ford was the man who officially installed a policy of an eight-hour workday, giving his employees a limit to how long they could work (Widrich 2014). The Industrial Revolution also brought about the disconnect in family life. No longer were families a unit, because they did not have to toil together on the farm. Instead, parents entered the work force and children attended school, separating the family. This history behind the eight-hour workday shows how it affected and still affects the modern and postmodern…show more content…
I studied the current relationship between work time and the bond between family members, using the historical development from the Industrial Revolution of more detached families to explain the current eight hour work-day and its relation to the postmodern disconnect in families. By looking at social media and the negative reputation it has in society, I also showed the elimination of social media in the workplace is indeed a social issue that stems from assumptions made about the negativity of social media (specifically with lack of consequence). Therefore, the the sociological imagination helps explain how Sweden's recent downward shift in work hours will not be as positive as intended through the restriction of social media in the workplace and opportunity to combat disconnect within the family simply because there are less work hours in a
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