In 1950, the Associated Press released an article about how experts thought the world would be living in the year 2000. Some of their predictions are on point, but others simply didn't pan out. Unfortunately for anyone stuck in the 9-to-5 daily grind, the prediction that we'd all see a significantly shorter regulated work week before the turn of the century has not only failed to come true, but seems to have spun in the opposite direction.
The experts consulted by AP seemed to think that, since labor was built from nothing over the past fifty years, "it is likely to win greater acceptance from other elements of American life. This in itself would tend to eliminate some of the great labor-management struggles and create a smoother-working American team." So basically, this "expert" thought that, as a result of gaining the respect of Americans and American lawmakers, workaday Joes and Janes would finally catch a break. Boy were they wrong.
To give this expert some credit, their prediction didn't seem so far-fetched when it was published, as child labor laws, minimum wage, unemployment compensation, and regulated work weeks were new laws. Why not reduce the work week after development has capped out, then? It would make sense but, unfortunately, many companies focus on working longer and harder, rather than encouraging employees to work smarter.
Example: after claims that they encouraged their employees to work 80-hour weeks, Amazon offered a select few of their employees a 30-hour week as a trial program, one that came with all of the same benefits as those who worked 40 hours or more. Naturally, there was a price to pay … literally. These employees got to spend less time in the office, but they also were paid less 25 percent less. That's likely to be the only way the average work week shortens — if we agree to get paid less in exchange for more time eating lunch at home while watching The Price is Right.