The factory system which was born at the beginning of the industrial revolution in Britain in the 21st century has shaped businesses till the time of writing this article. Workers were central to spin the machines to oversupply the market. They spent long hours with the machines to ensure a steady supply of goods. Sunrise to sunset was the order of the day and is still the norm in all businesses around the world. The world has dramatically changed but the nine to five working pattern did not.
The factory model which was inherited from the industrial age forced workers to work long hours to produce in dehumanizing, unsafe and disempowering environments. In today’s corporate world, the “ism” of industrialism has inspired the “ism” of capitalism and corporatism to go ahead and enforce the same model. For example, the clocks of businesses have been automatically programmed from nine to five mirroring the factory model of operating machines. Employees’ attendance and punctuality are the cornerstone of HR rules and regulations.
What is the logic behind working from 9 am to 5 pm?
Who set this divine system?
Why is it unchallengeable and undebatable?
I am not debating here the sanity of industrialism, socialism, capitalism and corporatism as economic theories which all proved to have shaky foundations that ruined the world. I am proposing the eradication of the inhumane factory model which dehumanized the world. The long hours culture is the core of most companies, creating profits at the expense of people. Amazon is a prime example of a company that left its employees working long hours in terrible conditions.
The point is that the economic productivity for any human being is about four to five hours a day. People can achieve miracles in five hours a day. They produce, create profit for the business and balance their lives. Ask most employees around the world, how many hours do you need a day to finish your daily tasks. Four to five hours would be the answer.
Productivity, work efficiency and profitability can all be achieved beyond the long hours culture. The problem is not the long hours pattern inherited from the industrial era, it is the fear of most business leaders to challenge the status quo. This is why the factory model of management is still the norm.