What Happened To The 40-Hour Week?

Turkish

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 12, 2007
358
0
I was just listening to some colleagues saying "yeah, I'll be here on Saturday for a while."

It just intrigued me how many hours people work these days. In our office, most people get here at 7-8 a.m, and don't leave until 6, sometimes 7. At least one weekend day is usually worked, too. Lunches are usually eaten at the desk, and it's an unspoken thing that actually taking an hour out of the office for lunch isn't Kosher.

What happened to M-F 9-5?

Just seems like it's normal (at least here in the U.S.) for people to be at work 50+ hours a week these days.

How did we ever get anything done in a 40-hour week before?

What's your schedule like - and has it changed?
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,166
1,138
Colorado Springs, CO
In Virginia even hourly folks get overtime every now and then. However, when I moved to Colorado state law is different and is very strict so I actually work a lot less (and consequently am a lot happier). I've been told to go home when I was in the middle of a project just because they didn't want to get fined ... plus my overtime is expensive for them.

Salaried people have it worse unfortunately. You pretty much get the shaft. Laws are strict but they aren't enforced which is a bloody shame. There are a lot of work-a-holics in the country and family's are suffering as a result. It explains the state of our children these days (disrespectful, etc).
 

Turkish

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 12, 2007
358
0
Oh, that was back when companies used to hire enough people.
You know I think that's a big part. And if you tell your employer that you can't do it all, you're not a good employee.

The job I do used to be done by two people. Now I do it all by myself.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,164
19
Chicago, Illinois
You know I think that's a big part. And if you tell your employer that you can't do it all, you're not a good employee.

The job I do used to be done by two people. Now I do it all by myself.
Yep- same here, except I do the jobs of what used to be 6 people. I'm not kidding. Did I get their money, or even a substantial raise? Nope. I bet you didn't either.
 

killerrobot

macrumors 68020
Jun 7, 2007
2,218
0
127.0.0.1
I love how CEO's make up to 40 times as much as the average paid worker in their company that has to put 50-60 hours in per week.

As said, I think that spread could be shortened and more people could have a job and everyone could get back to 40 hour work weeks.

But, I don't think that will ever happen in the US.

All you need to do is watch Office Space to know how this really affects everyone.
 

Turkish

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 12, 2007
358
0
Yep- same here, except I do the jobs of what used to be 6 people. I'm not kidding. Did I get their money, or even a substantial raise? Nope. I bet you didn't either.
Nope, which is why I am almost convinced the hardships and BS of working for one's self may be worth it.
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,166
1,138
Colorado Springs, CO
The job I do used to be done by two people. Now I do it all by myself.
I guess I'm lucky. The company I work for understands how many people are actually and realistically needed to do a job. For me, I have two people right under me that do the majority of the complicated work and then a few others that are the lackeys. Gotta love delegation.
 

tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,066
1,168
St. Louis, MO
I work 8-4:30 Monday through Friday. This has been my schedule since I started at the current place 3 years ago. I'm salary, so I *could* work more if we ever needed it, but we never do, and if hours are needed outside of normal work hours, my boss allows me to come in late or leave early to balance out.

Before that, I worked at a newspaper, where my hours were: Monday 10a-11p, Tuesday 10a-11p, Thursday 10a-2p, and Friday 10a-8p. I was hourly there, and their budget didn't allow for me to work any overtime.
 

BoyBach

macrumors 68040
Feb 24, 2006
3,023
2
UK
Because people are too scared to tell their employer where to stick it?

Or, because the employee or management or both are not good enough to get their job done in a forty hour week?

You decide?

:D

"I had a conversation with the CFO of a big company in New York," says Tamara Erickson, co-author of the 2006 book "Workforce Crisis," "and he said, 'I can't find anyone to hire who's willing to work 60 hours a week. Can you talk to them?' And I said, 'Why don't I start by talking to you? What they're really telling you is that they're sorry it takes you so long to get your work done.'"
Attracting the Twentysomething Worker - Fortune Magazine
 

Turkish

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 12, 2007
358
0
Because people are too scared to tell their employer where to stick it.

Or, because the employee or management or both are not good enough to get their job done in a forty hour week?

You decide?

:D



Attracting the Twentysomething Worker - Fortune Magazine
Another problem.

Where I work, they always try to hire "hungry new to the field" designers.

We have a girl here who has been working 12-14 hour days for a couple of weeks to get a book out and we keep telling her to knock it off because the publisher has no real idea what reality is when it comes to getting this book done (how many people it takes).

She wants to keep her job, so she keeps plugging along...
 

BarryW

macrumors member
My normal week days are 8-5:30, 30minute break Sunday to Thursday(Middle East Week). But currently doing a 12 hour 7 day a week, as I am offshore.

My supervisor has told me not to come in on Saturdays, and not to work overtime. Some people prefer to work overtime as they can get an extra 30% of their salary.

I think people have become more expensive to employ, so employees are trying to squeeze the most out of them, and people put up with it as they are scared of losing their jobs.
 

zelmo

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2004
5,490
1
Mac since 7.5
My hours are all over the place, but it is a rare week that I don't put in at least 55 hours.

I think a lot has to do with the cost of benefits and insurance in the US. Employers have to find ways to get more done with fewer folks simply because they cannot afford to carry as many people due to the cost of health care, insurance, workman's comp insurance, unemployment fees, etc.

Well, that and greed.;)
 

shecky

Guest
May 24, 2003
2,581
3
Obviously you're not a golfer.
between my teaching and design work i definitely do far more than a 40 hour week. but i do not really think of it as a "work" week - i am engaged in my profession beyond strictly doing it to pay my bills, so a lot of it i really enjoy; especially teaching - i would do that for free.

but overall i would say in a semester where i teach 3 classes i spend about 15 hours per week in classes and about 15-30 hours outside of class per class per semester developing the syllabus, lectures, materials and the course itself.

i then spend an average of 30-50 hours a week working on graphic design work for clients; which is sometimes onsite contracts, and sometimes individual projects where i work in my own studio.
 

4God

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2005
2,112
230
My Mac
....<snip>...There are a lot of work-a-holics in the country and family's are suffering as a result. It explains the state of our children these days (disrespectful, etc).
Well said.

I used to work for a major home improvement store in the 90's (gave them 7 really good years of my life that I can't get back) and I would spend 50-70 hours a week there as a salesperson and as a manager before leaving the company.

You would think that with all this new technology and the ability to get more done and quicker, we should be able to work less hours and still get the job done.
 

Deefuzz

macrumors 6502a
Jan 27, 2004
904
65
St. Louis, MO
We come in at 8:30 and leave at 5, with a half hour lunch at the desk. If we leave for lunch or take longer we are expected to stay past 5, but that is something that goes unsaid.

I think it is as close to 9-5 as I will get.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
i typically work 55 hours a week for a good portion of the year. and 40-45 the rest of the year.

management, benefits, and healthcare are all issues that screw this country over. imo. sure thats just generalizations. but there really is a lot wrong with this culture and mentality.
 

Aranince

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2007
1,104
0
California
I was just listening to some colleagues saying "yeah, I'll be here on Saturday for a while."

It just intrigued me how many hours people work these days. In our office, most people get here at 7-8 a.m, and don't leave until 6, sometimes 7. At least one weekend day is usually worked, too. Lunches are usually eaten at the desk, and it's an unspoken thing that actually taking an hour out of the office for lunch isn't Kosher.

What happened to M-F 9-5?

Just seems like it's normal (at least here in the U.S.) for people to be at work 50+ hours a week these days.

How did we ever get anything done in a 40-hour week before?

What's your schedule like - and has it changed?
The love of money is the root of all evil.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
485
A geographical oddity
Where I work, they always try to hire "hungry new to the field" designers.
That may be better than the alternative. I'm an attorney, I believe myself fairly capable, and I've never had a boss who didn't think that I wasn't incredibly quick on the uptake.

But, I can't get a permanent job, so I'm working as a temp working 8-5 or 8:30-5:30 (one hour lunch) since no overtime is approved.

As a paralegal.

I make a little under half of what an attorney normally makes in the DC area.

Why? Because everybody (other than the personal injury litgitagors) wants someone with 2-5 years fo experience. "Hungry, new to the field" means going hungry.
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,968
3
Last August I took charge of an application from a contractor who was asked to leave, two weeks before a committed release date. I worked 12+ hour days for all 14 remaining days before release, fixed 150 of the reported bugs and it was just about good enough to make the release date.

Then I worked 12+ hours 6 or 7 days a week for the next six months adding features we had committed to and fixing several hundred more bugs.

I did make some nice bonuses (25% of my salary during the six months, and three days extra off at Christmas)

Then I asked to change to a different team, where I come in at 8am and leave at 4pm (I got into the habit of not doing lunch), Monday to Friday, and get home in time to play with my two pre-school daughters before they go to bed, and spend a couple of hours a day with my wife.

I'm unlikely to get any more 25% bonuses (I'm slightly behind with my current project, but only a couple of days) and no more extra days off ... but I don't care that much since the extra hours were much more than that. I calculated I would have made $45,000 more if I'd been paid for the hours I worked.

Yes, I burned out.