Bring Back the 40-Hour Work Week

      2 Comments on Bring Back the 40-Hour Work Week

Online MBA published a blog post and infographic about overtime, with some surprising statistics:

  • The more hours per week you regularly work, the less productive you will become.
  • On average, Americans now work 11 hours more per week than in 1970, but make $8,000 less per year (adjusted for inflation).

From the article:

In today’s ever-increasingly cutthroat work environment, a common notion among employees and bosses alike tends to be, “he who works latest works best.” And while it seems that the 40-hour work week has been largely dispensed with in our hardworking culture, new studies show that working more very seldom produces better results. Employees work many more hours now than they have in the past, but it’s coming at the expense of health, happiness, and even productivity. While it looks good to be the first to arrive and the last to leave work each day, it turns out that putting in 60 hours of work each week may do more harm than good in achieving end results. This infographic examines some of the lesser-known statistics regarding overtime work and its effects, and through it one thing becomes extremely clear: To boost productivity and foster excellent employees, the best thing businesses can do is to bring back the 40-hour work week.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Bring Back the 40 Hour Work Week Infographic

2 thoughts on “Bring Back the 40-Hour Work Week

  1. Frank Aronson

    I caught your posts on Spiceworks. I love this “chart,” however you may want to update it with median income vs. average income. I know you probably have a lot more experience with this, but I use “average” as a statistic of last resort, as it is so easily skewed. Consider the spectacular rise in salary and wealth in the upper 1% (well, really, the upper 1/10th of 1%) over the past thirty years. Every time they increase their salary by another 10%, my “average” goes up without ever realizing the benefits of it.

    Otherwise, you have an amazing accumulation of data there! I’ll be looking at the rest of your blog because of this.

    Frank Aronson

    1. Dave Boring


      I’m glad you like the chart. Unfortunately, I didn’t create it, I just shared it from another site, so I didn’t choose the data to include.

      I agree with you that too many outliers can skew an average, so we have to be careful when using that statistic. However, with the rise in the upper 1% of incomes over the last 40 years, the average should be pulled up, not down, if everything else remained the same. I think this chart shows that the lower 99% has become even lower and larger today than in 1970, enough to pull the average down over $8000 per year. To me, that’s troubling.

      I did a quick Google search and came across a press release from the US Census Bureau. From the press release:

      The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that in 2010, median household income declined, the poverty rate increased and the percentage without health insurance coverage was not statistically different from the previous year.

      Real median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decline from the 2009 median.

      Like you, I think it would be interesting to compare this median number to historical numbers, adjusted for inflation, and see if the median has changed as much as the average. Any takers?



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