Henry Ford, Perfecter of the Modern-day Work Week.

The 9-5 Monday to Friday schedule hasn’t changed in almost 100 years.

It was 1926 when HenryFord implemented an 8hr, 5-day work week at Ford.  This was a big change from the 48 hour, 6-day work week.  The reasons for this change were twofold; by decreasing the number of days in a work week from 6 days to 5, the level of productivity increased.  The second reason was to provide a better work life balance.  Henry Ford understood that by increasing the amount of leisure time a person has, the better that person is as a consumer.  Henry Ford realized that if people were going to spend money (cars, sports, vacations, etc.) they need the time do so.  The day was to be broken up as 8hrs work, 8hrs leisure, 8hrs rest.

The launch of the 40 hour work week was based on peoples’ lives and family needs in the 1920’s.  Most homes were single income homes.  1 working parent, and the other at home fulfilling the household duties.  Fast forward to present day, this is still the same system many large companies operate.  Difference is, many homes today operate with 2 working parents.  The household still needs to be run.  Responsibilities and chores take up a large portion of our time.  Either rest or leisure suffers.

With flexibility being at or near the top of the an individual’s priority when job searching, and the rise of the gig economy and in many industries on a global scale, now is the time to examine at how we staff and learn how to implement new systems that help rebalance work and leisure.

Companies have increasingly focused efforts on flexibility; however, companies are trying to do so while conforming to the existing 9-5 framework.  It’s why we cross-train staff or lean towards the hire that is capable of performing many jobs. Its why the temporary agency business has grown over the last 25 years.  Everyone wants flexibility, and now is the time to implement a flexible staffing system that accommodates both the individual and the business alike.

Flexibility needs to be incorporated into modern workplaces for modern workforces.  To cash in on this trend, many flexible work or “gig” companies have emerged (ZiGGY included) across many industries.  Some examples would be MarketerHire, Upwork and Fiverr.  Being able to adapt to a more flexible work environment will lead to more productive work from a much happier workforce.  Henry Ford realized this back in 1926.  Are we seeing yet another change in the workplace toward a more flexible work arrangement?

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