Why Do We Work 40 Hours A Week?

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In this video, Mr. Beat explores why most of us have a 40-hour work week. Also, why the heck do we still work 40 hours a week?

Produced by Matt Beat. All images/video by Matt Beat, found in the public domain, or used under fair use guidelines. Music by Bad Snacks.

Creative commons credits:
Daniel Schwen

Sources/further reading:
I Get Paid for 180 Days of Work Each Year, but I Actually Work More Than 250
40-hour work week: The history and evolution
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/overtime https://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-americans-are-hourly-workers/ https://www.tinypulse.com/blog/the-origin-of-the-8-hour-work-day-and-why-it-no-longer-matters https://www.lib.umd.edu/unions/labor/eight-hour-day https://www.wired.com/story/eight-hour-workday-is-a-lie/ https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/01/85percent-of-us-workers-are-happy-with-their-jobs-national-survey-shows.html https://www.pbs.org/livelyhood/workday/weekend/8hourday.html https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200117-the-modern-phenomenon-of-the-weekend https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2020/0211/Four-day-workweek-Why-idea-of-shorter-hours-gains-support Cameo, yo: https://www.cameo.com/iammrbeat?qid=1614915028 Snail mail Mr. Beat: PO Box 1982 Lawrence, KS 66044 Donate to Mr. Beat for great perks on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/iammrbeat Buy Mr. Beat's book, The Ultimate American Presidential Election Book: Every Presidential Election in American History (1788-2016) https://amzn.to/3fdakiZ Donate to Mr. Beat on Paypal: https://www.paypal.me/mrbeat Buy Mr. Beat T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.: https://sfsf.shop/support-mrbeat/ More merch: https://www.bonfire.com/store/mr-beat/ Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/mrbeat/ Mr. Beat's band: http://electricneedleroom.net/ Mr. Beat on Twitter: https://twitter.com/beatmastermatt Mr. Beat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iammrbeat/ Mr. Beat on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iammrbeat Mr. Beat's Discord server: https://discord.gg/g8cZPjt Mr. Beat favorites: POP! Icons: George Washington https://go.magik.ly/ml/11jrb/ Useful Charts: https://usefulcharts.com/?aff=12 Recommended books: Republic, Lost by Lawrence Lessing https://go.magik.ly/ml/11jul/ Truman by David McCullough https://go.magik.ly/ml/11jwc/ Studio equipment: Canon EOS M50 Camera EF-M 15-45mm Lens https://amzn.to/3dcNPen Samtian LED Video Light Kit https://amzn.to/3llDwHO TroyStudio Acoustic Panel https://amzn.to/33CkqHn Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic https://amzn.to/2GseOHa I use MagicLinks for all my ready-to-shop product links. Check it out here: https://www.magiclinks.com/rewards/referral/mrbeat/ FTC Disclosure: This post or video contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through my links. Why do we work 40 hours a week, or 8 hours a day? Well, throughout most of human history, the work schedule was more fluid. Take the hunter gatherers. Hunters hunted when they needed to hunt. Gatherers gathered when they needed to...you know...gather. And then once agriculture became a big deal, farmers plowed their fields, planted their seeds, harvested their crops, and fed their animals, as needed. Even today, it’s rather ridiculous to think of farmers clocking in to work at 9:00 and clocking out at 5. If anything, there are times of the year where they are just constantly working. During the Industrial Revolution, those machines helped, but factory owners still greatly relied on the productivity of their workers. Without their workers, they would be screwed, as those expensive machines would just be collecting dust. So factory owners kept their factories open all day long and forced, er...I mean, ASKED their workers to work as much as possible. This led to the average factory worker working 90 hours a week. What’s crazy is that the better the technology got, the harder the workers had to work. When more and more struggling farmers fled the countryside to the cities to seek work in the early 1800s, soon there were too many available workers, and so factory owners now had the leverage. This is why they began to get away with treating their workers like crap. Factory conditions sucked. Often, factories were poorly ventilated, so the air was dirty. They were also poorly lit. Workers were on their feet all day. And since the machines were often very dangerous, all of this combined led to many injuries on the job. Needless to say, eventually the workers began to unite to demand better working conditions. After all, the factory owners would be screwed if ALL of them decided not to go into work. And thus, the labor union was born. #8hourworkday #laborunions #history