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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