Work has changed. Each generation has seen a different way of working than the previous one. From working the land to industrialization to the new entry of technologies, work has become every time more bearable.
Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies around the world have migrated to remote work and home office strategies. And let’s get real, a few years ago that wasn’t conceivable. As it was years ago, the fact of working “only” forty hours a week. That was progress, believe me.
As it turns out, there’s no need for us to work eight hours a day. A study discovered that we humans only need to work eight hours PER WEEK. Are you getting ready to write that email to your boss? Well, go on and read this article so you’ll have enough information to sustain your petition…
Throughout history, the way we work has been re-evaluated. Today the standard working hours is forty hours per week. Of course, depending on the country. In France, for instance, it is established to work 35 hours per week, but, on the contrary, in South Korea, people can work up to 112 hours per week in the labor camps.
Before World War II, workers would work around 84 hours per week. Sometimes even more. It wasn’t till the early 1900s when people started to fight for their rights and ask for 8 working hours per day. We now know they succeeded in their request, no doubt. But what if I tell ya that even 8 hours per day is now too much? Will you believe me?
Well, it is not something I’m making up. A study, titled “A shorter working week for everyone: How much paid work is needed for mental health and well-being?”, made in 2019 by researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Salford, discovered that as it turns out we need to work eight hours per week. Yes, you read it right. Per week.
The study evaluated the psychological effects of working 40 to 48 hours per week. It investigates whether it is possible to reduce working times. And the conclusion was groundbreaking.
“Working eight-hour week was sufficient to gain the wellbeing benefits of employment, as employee wellbeing was similar regardless of the length of the working week up to 48 hours,” reads the study.
Today, mental health is something people are taking care of. Compared to years before, mental health is playing an important role in our lives.
“This study found that even a small number of working hours (between one and 8 h a week) generates significant mental health and well-being benefits for previously unemployed or economically inactive individuals,” researchers add.
This kind of study and results might have an important influence on the future of work. After all, change is the only thing we know for sure it’s going to happen.