Legal Management: Welcome to the 24/7 Workplace

What will the future millennial‐led workplace look like? If today’s trends continue, we can say one thing about that future workplace — it will exist 24/7.

When I teach intergenerational workplace dynamics, I spend a great deal of time discussing how the concept of work hours has changed over the past century. As the 18th century saw industrialization and, most notably, the introduction of electric lighting, factories made their workers put in substantially longer days than before — 14 hours a day, seven days a week. The workers rebelled. Through unions and collective bargaining, factory workers started demanding shorter hours and five‐day workweeks.

Eventually, business leaders said yes — most famously, Henry Ford and his motor company. Then, in 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt institutionalized the eight‐hour workday with the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This act included overtime pay requirements for certain employees. As the century continued, the 40‐hour workweek became the default standard for many white‐collar workers as well.

READ MORE  Legal Management The Magazine of the Association of the Legal Workplace October 20, 2015

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Michelle Silverthorn

Michelle Silverthorn

After spending seventeen years living in the Caribbean, Michelle undertook a number of around-the-world detours before ending up at the doorstep of the Commission, including four years as a general litigator in New York and Chicago. She remembers pretty much everyone she’s met in her travels but she would especially like to meet again the passengers on a January 2001 flight from Miami to JFK. At the pilot’s request, they donated enough money for Michelle, who had her wallet stolen, to get back to college safely. She would very much like to tell them all thanks.
Michelle Silverthorn

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