It's Time to Re-Embrace 8-Hour Workdays

Tech industry in particular revels in long days: Nathan Pensky

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 21, 2014 6:47 PM CST

(Newser) – It's like a "badge of honor" in the tech world for employees to put in long days under the mantra of "always connected" or "entrepreneurship as lifestyle," writes Nathan Pensky at Pando. And while such dedication might be necessary in the short term for a startup, Pensky thinks "this is a methodology ripe for reform, not a lifestyle to be celebrated." That's especially true for lower-level workers who come on board, at tech companies or other modern firms. Instead of a standard workday, they get fed new-agey concepts about productivity and "Ultradium rhythms."

Fancy cafeterias and perks are nice, but they don't make up for the lost time off. Yes, Pensky knows he'll be accused of complaining about "First World problems," but he sees a bigger point here. "Acknowledgement of the importance of the 8-hour workday, or at least some sort of limitation on work time, is not some ploy for lazy people, nor even one for compassion, really," he writes, after retracing the history of the workers' reform movement. "It’s a humanist argument for productivity within the boundaries of reality." Click for his full column.

  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
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