21 April 1856

Australian labour movement: Stonemasons and building workers on building sites around Melbourne march from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House to achieve an eight-hour day.

The 8-hour workday is a work schedule that has become the standard for many countries around the world. The idea of the 8-hour workday emerged during the Industrial Revolution, where workers were often required to work 12-16 hour days. Labor movements began advocating for shorter workdays, with the aim of improving workers’ health, productivity, and overall quality of life.

Here are some important aspects of the 8-hour workday:

Health: Long workdays can lead to physical and mental fatigue, stress, and burnout. The 8-hour workday aims to provide workers with enough time to rest, recuperate, and engage in leisure activities that promote good health.

Productivity: Studies have shown that long workdays can actually reduce productivity due to fatigue, stress, and lack of concentration. Shorter workdays with adequate breaks and time off can increase productivity and efficiency.

Work-life balance: The 8-hour workday allows workers to have more time for their personal lives, such as spending time with family, pursuing hobbies, and engaging in leisure activities.

Fairness: The 8-hour workday ensures that all workers are treated equally and are not overworked, regardless of their job or social status.